Goddess Kaveri Bestowing Her Blessings upon us

We, at Westend Heights, are fortunate to have one of the earliest connection of BWSSB (Kaveri) water in this area (since 2015). It is another interesting story about how the Goddess Kaveri first poured into the D-Block complex sump. That story will be told sometime later, but today, we will share about the progress we are making to increase intake of BWSSB water in Westend Heights’ thereby reducing dependency on tanker water.

Firstly, we are now getting the highest ever Kaveri water month-on-month. We have crossed average of 4 ML / month supply. Secondly, on the cost side, while BWSSB water costs us Rs 22,000/- per ML, Tanker water costs Rs ~90,000/- per ML (million liters). The difference is of about Rs 65-70,000/- per ML. But wait, where’s the benefit yet? In 2019, average Kaveri water supply was 0.8 ML/month and now 4 ML/month. So, with 3.2 ML / month additional, aren’t we saving Rs 2+ lakhs per month already?

BWSSB Bill of April 2020 usage showing 5.44 ML costing Rs 1,21,680/-

How did this happen? Two key factors worked hand in hand

1. We continued to engage with BWSSB Officials and sensitize them to our plight. Their promise was to drop water at D-block at best pressure for maximum possible time. The onus was on us to tap every drop of it.

2. We built capacity to take ALL the Kaveri water dropped by BWSSB at D-block meter point. Yes, that is  what the D-Block Pumping project did for us.

Let us go a little back in the past: In mid-2017, the water supply from BWSSB was dwindling and that is when BWSSB petition signed by over 450 residents was channelized with the support of several volunteers and presented before BWSSB which got us an average 2.5 ML/month in the last 5 months of the year 2017. The supply in 2018 was a dud average of 1.5 ML per month and 2019 was even worse at about 0.8 ML per month average. Fellow residents like Shilpa Bejoria too joined in the frontline in talking with BWSSB Officials to get more BWSSB water. BWSSB personnel tried, but at a certain point the technical limitations of pipeline design disallowed us to get reasonable quantity of water. The sumps at A and BC Blocks were at high head and on top ~700 meters of pipeline added to our woes. No matter what we did, BWSSB just wasn’t committing to deliver the water at A & BC sump at good pressure. After much deliberation the broad solution identified was to collect Kaveri water at D Block and pump it to A and BC Block. Few residents such as Shree Balaji Sampath, Mohi Shaik and Nitesh Bhat analyzed the business case which clearly supported the investment. However, it was EC1’s prudent decision to engage a professional Plumbing Consultant which resulted in the “D-block Pumping Project.” Mr Balaji Sampath, a Civil Engineer himself, Home Decor product designer / maker and an interior designer, anchored the entire project from conception to engagement with Consultant, procurement and including execution. He is now an EC Member as well.

The current situation with water: We are now tapping entire BWSSB water at D Block at best possible pressure. We are also unloading tanker water at one central point and pumping entire water to A and BC block. The Executive Committee’s circulars points to the following actualized benefits

1. More BWSSB water is being tapped now

2. Cost of water has been avoided by Rs 2-3 lakhs per month

3. Internal Road damages averted. Cost of periodic repair avoided.

4. More safe interior roads. Lesser tanker noise inside the complex.

Can we ever get our full quota of BWSSB water: The Officials claim that the supply will substantially increase once Cauvery Stage 5 Project is complete. This ongoing project for 110 villages is expected to complete by 2022. Thus, there is a long wait for more BWSSB water.

Conclusion – It would be ambitious to see that Westend Heights is self-sufficient in terms of water, to ensure we get our full quota of BWSSB Water and to tap increasingly more rain water for domestic use. A lot of work at hand. May the force be with those who can make all of this happen.

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