The Karnataka government is contemplating a ban on construction of new apartments in Bengaluru as one of its measures to combat the growing shortage of water in India’s technology capital.
Karnataka’s deputy chief minister G.Parameshwara said that there’s a gap between construction of new residential apartments and the amenities provided to these spaces.
“There are enough apartments being built in the city but while selling them there is no assurance of providing drinking water or other basic amenities,” Parameshwara, who is also the Bengaluru in charge minister, said
The statement comes at a time when Bengaluru and other mega urban cities like Chennai are facing their worst water crisis mostly due to over exploitation of existing resources, which happened owing to rapid rate of migration and unplanned growth.
Considered the growth engine of Karnataka, authorities in Bengaluru have relied on bringing in water to the city by depriving surrounding districts instead of reviving its own resources like lakes that have been lost to pollution and illegal encroachments, mostly used for construction of apartments and other commercial buildings.
Karnataka, like other states in the country, has been reeling under a severe drought due to failing rains and drying up rivers and reservoirs.
Even the quality of water provided to these apartments are poor, Parameshwara said. Most of these apartments depend on borewellls or getting water delivered by tankers that is drawn from unclean lakes, which could pose a health risk as well.
“Many people complain of skin diseases as well,” he said.
Apartments in Bengaluru also add to the already messy traffic situation as there is no additional infrastructure to support the same. Already crumbling under intense pressure, Bengaluru sees over 1,500 new vehicles entering the roads each day in a city that has over 7.5 million vehicles and a population exceeding 10 million.
The deputy chief minister said that the state government will hold talks with stakeholders and get their opinion on the subject as well.