Gopinath P (35) grew up in extreme water scarcity, in Vijayanagar village in Bengaluru. This is an area located in Mahadevapura, a zone earmarked under the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP’s) 110 villages project. “My mother travelled 4.5 kms by foot often to Immadihalli village, where certain rich zamindars had built borewells owing to favourable water tables,” Gopinath says.
Carrying plastic-pots attached to her waist and head, she along with many other villagers of Vijayanagar traveled to faraway villages seeking water. Tankers go every fortnight to one cross. But if the water is over, a resident who is supposed to draw water when the tanker comes to his cross, is instead forced to collect water by going to another cross, causing chaos.
Recalling his childhood, Gopinath, now a building contractor, says that a temporary solution was provided in the form of a faulty ‘hand-pump’ built for them to extract water. Ten years ago, when BBMP included 110 villages (from Dasarahalli, Byatarayanapura, Mahadevapura, RR Nagar and Bommanahalli zone) in the city’s limits, ‘Panchayati water’ or tankers commissioned by BBMP came to their rescue every fortnight. This still continues, but does little to help them.
Shortage is created when the tankers consecutively visit the ten crosses in Vijayanagar, making people gathering to collect water, often resulting in crowds and unequal water distribution from BBMP tankers. In the absence of a disciplined system, it is not easy to put a limit on how much water each person draws. The motors and pumps are in poor condition at the only four borewell points that exist in our village, therefore having no other source of water other than the BBMP tankers,“ he elaborates.
To make matters worse, they currently do not have an overhead tank either. As the owner of three properties in the village, Gopinath needs 7,000 litres for his family and five tenants every week. Every month, he spends Rs 3,500-Rs 4,000 on private tankers that deliver 3,000 litres weekly.
The newly added villages are home to labourers, domestic help and construction workers, who are struggling to make ends meet. A domestic help living in Kodipalya village in Banashankari 6th Stage says that she had to skip classes as a child to be home when the tanker arrived twice a month. This practice has continued over the years, but today the length of the queue for the tanker has only increased.
The plight is the same for the population of 11,03,515 (according to 2011 census report) people inhabiting the 110 villages area. The 225 sq km area comprises of 23 villages in Mahadevapura, 17 villages in RR Nagar, 26 in Byatarayanapura, 11 in Bommanahalli and 33 in Dasarahalli.
The Government of Karnataka directed the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to divert Cauvery river water to the five zones under the Cauvery Water Supply Scheme-Stage V plan, in a letter written on January 2, 2014. This was kept in cold storage as Stage IV was underway.
Fourteen years later, not much has changed. During a progress-review meeting held on May 26, 2018 at the BWSSB head office, senior officials took note of the initiatives and hiccups in supplying water to the newly added villages. It was revealed in the meeting that laying of the pipelines is 100% complete in nine villages and House Service Connections (HSC) activity is in progress for 17 villages, for which 7.5 MLD has been allotted.
Cauvery Water Supply Scheme (CWSS)-Stage V
The scheme is primarily the construction of a comprehensive water supply and sewerage system, systematically undertaken in the 110 villages area alone in two phases-500 MLD to be supplied in Phase 1 and 225 MLD in Phase 2. The larger plan is to direct the surplus water from the project to core areas and 8 Urban Local Bodies (ULB) in the next decade (2024-2034).
In Cauvery Stage V, water from Shiva Anekattu or Shiva Balancing Reservoir flows into Netkal Balancing Reservoir. It is then pumped to Toraikadanahalli water treatment plant. Treated water from Toraikadanahalli is pumped into Bengaluru through pipelines and Harohalli and Tataguni pumping stations.
According to the field work conducted by the Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA) survey team, the agency that also funded Cauvery Stage IV, the following constructions have been proposed to be built by 2023.
- 135 overhead tanks having the capacity of 1.5 lakh to 25 lakh litres
- 61 pumps
- Feeder pipes connecting existing Ground Level Reservoirs (GLRs) and Overhead Tanks from within the city and from the proposed GLRs
- Water treatment plants in Thoraikadanahalli (TK Halli) reservoir, for 500 MLD of output for Phase 1 and 225 MLD for Phase 2 of Cauvery Stage V plan.
- Raw water transmission pipeline of 70 kms for 810 MLD flow from TK Halli reservoir
- 10 kms long conveyance line
- 1,06,000 house connections to be provided
- 7 Ground Level Reservoirs in Vasudevapura Gottigere, Kadugodi Singapura, Chokkanahalli, Lingadheeranahalli and Doddakanahalli .
- Sewerage distribution networks for 2979 kms and distribution mains for 205 kms
- Main sewers covering 330 kms and lateral sewers covering 2243 kms
- 14 STPs with the following capacities: Jakkur (7.0/11.0 MLD), Bilishivale ( 17.0/27.0 MLD), Varthur Kodi ( 15.0/24.0 MLD), Pillaganahalli (4.06/6.0 MLD), Thalaghattapura (5.0/8.0 MLD), Somapura (8.0/12.6 MLD), Hemmigepura (13.0/20.0 MLD), Harohalli (3.0/5.0 MLD), Hosahalli (6.0/10.0 MLD), Kariobanahalli (10.0/16.0 MLD), Nagasandara (9.0/13.0 MLD), Chikkabanavara (4.0/10.0 MLD), Doddabettahalli (7.0/11.0 MLD) and Yelahankakere (6.0/15.0 MLD)
- 7 Intermediate Sewerage Pumping Systems ( ISPS): The survey has estimated the flow in each ISPS for the year 2034 based on the proposed design : Bellahalli(0.9 MLD), Naganathapura (9.0 MLD), Hagadur(15.0), Arehalli 1 ( 1.1 MLD), Hemmigepura (1.6 MLD), Herohalli (0.5 MLD), & Doddabidarakallu (8.1 MLD)
How long before Cauvery Stage V materialises?
Once the loan of Rs 5550 crore from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was approved by the Centre in January, the board started the process of finalising tenders to execute the project, especially to build a parallel-sixth line to transport water into the city. Right now, the board is waiting for an Expression of Interest(EOI) to come from a global tender to offer design and consultancy expertise for the construction of the water distribution system.
Sources within BWSSB said, ‘There are two parts to this. The first part consists of a presentation outlining the design specifications that is already complete. Next, a global tender has to come forward, and companies need to disclose their past records as this is a large-scale project with international appeal.” The procedure was delayed due to Karnataka assembly elections. ‘This is expected to be completed within the next six months,” said BWSSB Chief Engineer (Cauvery Zone) P N Ravindra.
Progress is being made slowly and steadily, but surely, according to a BWSSB progress-review report. In terms of the laying of the pipeline, 100% of the work has been completed in 9 of the 110 villages, which includes 5 in Dasarahalli zone, 3 in Bommanahalli zone and 1 in Mahadevapura. The same report says that 50% of the pipeline network has been laid in 36 villages, of which 14 are in Mahadevapura zone. The work has just begun in 64 villages, while 21 villages have been untouched.
The BWSSB is aiming to finish the laying of pipelines in eight more villages in next few months, and has started receiving connection applications from residents. 450 connection requests have been received in Mahadevapura, 208 in RR Nagar, 150 in Byatarayanapura and 340 in Bommanahalli.
The department has come up with certain observations for improvement, after studying the progress made on the project. The most significant area that needs quality implementation is identified to be the installation of meters for measuring water consumed and lost, valves and valve chambers. The table below shows the number of valves procured and installed in the five zones up to May 26, 2018.
|Contractor||Laxmi Civil Engg Service Ltd.||SMC Infrastructure Pvt Ltd||Indian Hume
Pipes Co Ltd
|Larsen & Toubro Ltd||Megha Engg & Infrastructure Ltd|
|No. of villages in which work has started||21||11||19||28||11|
|No. of villages covered 100% in laying pipelines||1||0||0||3||5|
|No. of villages having more than 50% coverage||14||1||5||11||5|
|No. of villages having coverage 1km to 50%||5||10||14||14||1|
|No. of villages where work has yet to be started||3||6||7||5||0|
|Pipe procured||513 km||113 km||411 km||614 km||383 km|
|Pipe laying completed at the end of 24th May 2018||347 km||92 km||288 km||449 km||329 km|
|Total no. of valves procured||1355||807||644||2257||978|
|Total no. of valves installed||398||166||75||543||470|
Tender bid on Gottigere GLR
Due to Bengaluru having an undulating underground profile, Ground Level Reservoirs (GLR) have always been used since the 1800’s to supply water to the city. The city has total 84 GLRs. The JICA Preparatory Survey says that 65 functional GLRs have the total capacity to store 929 MLD, while 14 GLRs are out of service and 5 are under-repair.
As part of Stage V, the total capacity of the seven proposed GLRs is 629 MLD. The locations are Vasudevapura Gottigere, Kadugodi Singapura, Chokkanahalli, Lingadheeranahalli & Doddakanahalli. The tender has been awarded for the purpose, for an estimated cost of Rs 9046 lakhs.
The first GLR to receive a tender bid is at Gottigere ( 50 ML). During the tender scrutiny committee ( finance) meeting held on May 24, 2018, SMC Infrastructure has placed the first bid to construct the GLR housing 50 ML for Rs 7777.04 lakh. This offer is yet to be placed before the board and finalized.
Simultaneously, tenders have been awarded for the overhead tanks to pump water from GLRs. The work order has been issued for the construction of 11 such tanks, majority of them having a capacity of 1 MLD. The villages about to receive overhead tankers are:
- Uttarahalli and Sonnenahalli in RR Nagar
- Chikkabettahalli , Doddabettahalli, Chokkanahalli, and Srinivaspura in Byatarayanapura,
- Doddakanehalli, Singasandra and Kudlu in Bommanahalli,
- Kadugodi in Mahadevapura
- HMT layout Dasarahalli.
Expenditure for 100-village water project
The final Detailed Project Report (DPR) examining the feasibility of the Cauvery Water Supply Stage V project was completed in November 2017. Based on this, the Central government gave the BWSSB the official nod to avail the amount of Rs 2,78,40,818 crore or 45 million yen from JICA on January 24, 2018. The JICA Preparatory Survey conducted over a period of two years is meant to serve as an addendum to the last DPR presented in 2016, giving specific details on the projected rise and demands of the population up to 2049.
“The project will provide a water treatment plant and water transmission facilities to take water from the Cauvery River, approximately 70 kilometers from the Bengaluru metropolitan area, to increase the water supply and meet the rising demand for water. The project will provide a water distribution network so that the water can be distributed to districts where water supply services are not currently available, as well as providing sewerage treatment plants and other related facilities. It is expected that these measures will contribute to further industrial stimulation and sanitation improvements in the living environment of residents,” reads a press release on their website.
Cauvery Water Supply Stage V-Phase I costs Rs 23,370 million, and the money allocated so far towards the purpose is Rs 982.76 crore to build pipelines, overhand tanks and sumps. A BWSSB progress review shows the zone-wise utilisation of the amount. About 34% ( Rs 340 crores) has been billed up to May 26, 2018. The review meeting estimated that the cost would go up by 1,131.44 lakhs, due to price escalation and GST charges.
|Package||Zone||Total Project Cost
|Total billed amount till date
( INR Crores)
|Billed Financial Progress
What does the future hold?
The BWSSB has calculated the water demand vs population growth up to 2051, while the BDA has it own master plan up to the year 2031, but have failed to study the growth of the 110 villages. For the very first time, a study is looking at the demand and supply for the 110 villages with zone wise specification, as part of JICA’s study of Stage V. The projected population growth for the 23 villages in Mahadevapura is expected to reach 8,65,154 by 2049, the JICA Preparatory Survey shows. (table below). One of the solutions proposed is the extension of the Unaccounted For Water to the 110 villages which aims to reduce leakage in the five zones to 16% in the next five years.
Source: JICA Preparatory Survey for Cauvery Stage V
Name of Zone
|Area is Sq km||2011 Population Census||Projected population
|Water Demand (MLD)|
|1||Bytrayanpura (26 Villages)||55.0||241,074||412,912||588,875||933,240||74||105||167|
|4||RR Nagar (17 Villages)||31.4||164,307||375,369||524,868||817,285||67||94||146|
|5||Dasarahalli (11 Villages)||23.5||191,955||328,782||468,878||743,073||59||84||133|
BWSSB Chief Engineer (Projects) KR Manjunath urges the residents to come forward and apply for the connections in the beneficiary villages, as and when work is completed. If all goes well, he is confident of completing a good portion of the infrastructural work by 2019.
Manjunath believes the villagers need to overcome the mind-block and stop resisting the payment of the one-time Beneficiary Contributory Charge (BCC), which ultimately reduces the dependence on bore wells. That’s when all 110 villages will see proper water connections.
A resident who stays in Mahadevapura says that since every house cannot afford the Rs 11,000 as BCC charges, the BWSSB should try alternate methods to disseminate water here. “For instance, maybe start providing a few BCC connections per street, through whatever funds can be pooled in together,” he says.
Till then, water tankers and ground water extraction will continue to provide the much-needed respite from water woes.
Status of BWSSB underground sewerage facilities for 110 villages will be covered in the next story of this two-part series.