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Bengaluru’s Silicon Valley Rocked by Water Crisis: India’s Tech Hub in Peril

Bengaluru's Silicon Valley Rocked by Water Crisis: India's Tech Hub
Opposition parties have been protesting against the water shortage Opposition parties have been protesting against the water shortage
Bengaluru's Silicon Valley Rocked by Water Crisis: India's Tech Hub
Opposition parties have been protesting against the water shortage Opposition parties have been protesting against the water shortage

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Bengaluru’s Silicon Valley Rocked by Water Crisis: India’s Tech Hub in Peril

In Bengaluru, India’s bustling tech hub, a daily struggle unfolds as thousands scramble to secure enough water for their basic needs. Once revered for its temperate climate and verdant landscapes, the city now grapples with the harsh reality of water scarcity, a consequence of rapid and often haphazard urban expansion.

As activist Srinivas Alavilli asserts, while traffic congestion may dominate conversations, the true crisis lies in the realm of water scarcity. With a population of 15 million requiring a staggering two billion liters of water daily, Bengaluru’s dependency on the Cauvery River, the subject of a longstanding water dispute, underscores its vulnerability. While 70% of the city’s water supply is drawn from the Cauvery, the remainder is sourced from dwindling groundwater, exacerbating the strain.

The repercussions of a weak monsoon reverberate, as groundwater levels plummet, necessitating deeper boreholes and resulting in a shortfall of 200 million liters per day. To mitigate the crisis, officials have implemented measures such as regulating tanker prices and penalizing non-essential water usage. However, critics question the feasibility of enforcing such regulations on a household level.

While the water shortage permeates every corner of the city, its impact is most acutely felt in the outskirts, particularly among the 110 villages assimilated into Bengaluru in 2007. Residents of apartment complexes and gated communities are compelled to adopt water-saving measures, altering daily routines in response to escalating temperatures.

In Somasundarapalya, a few kilometers from the upscale HSR layout, residents grapple with dwindling water reserves, resorting to manual labor to transport water to their homes. With borewells running dry, reliance on costly water tankers becomes inevitable, placing an additional financial burden on already strained households.

Despite efforts to alleviate the crisis, challenges persist. The influx of new residents and rampant construction strain existing water resources, exacerbating the situation. Officials reassure the public of impending relief with the completion of the fifth phase of the Cauvery water project. However, experts caution that population growth has outpaced infrastructure development, rendering long-term solutions elusive.

The water crisis transcends mere inconvenience, fueling political tensions and economic uncertainties. As the state grapples with the ramifications of mismanaged resources, questions linger regarding the prioritization of urban development over essential infrastructure. For Bengaluru, once heralded as India’s Silicon Valley, the water crisis serves as a sobering wake-up call, underscoring the imperative of sustainable urban planning and resource management.


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