It was named ‘Chamarajasagara’ at the time, but hardly anyone remembers this today.
The Tippagondanahalli or T.G. Halli reservoir, as it is popularly called, was built in 1933 at the confluence of the rivers Arkavathi and Kumudavathi and was Bengaluru’s first source of piped drinking water. It was named ‘Chamarajasagara’ at the time, but hardly anyone remembers this today.
It supplied 135 million litres a day (MLD) and was the city’s main and only water source. The reservoir’s 1500 sq.km catchment area covers parts of Magadi, Nelamangala, Doddaballapur, Devanahalli and Bengaluru taluks.
The 3.3 TMC ft. of water that Bengaluru received from the T.G. Halli reservoir was used for drinking until about 2012, after which the quality of its water began to drastically deteriorate due to the unplanned growth of the city. Various studies have proved that the water’s turbidity, hardness, and total dissolved solids (TDS), are way beyond permissible limits. The presence of chloride, calcium and magnesium in the dam water and its alkalinity levels also make it unfit for consumption.
Of late no water has been used from T.G. Halli for drinking because of its contamination. Unfortunately, its pollution only seems to be increasing with the discharge of untreated water from various Sewerage Treatment Plants (STPs) into it. Several industries and manufacturing units across the Arkavathy have been discharging untreated effluents into the river, further contaminating the groundwater.
At a time when we need to focus on rejuvenating and rebuilding our lost water resources, we are only worsening the quality of the few remaining water bodies we have. And with the Cauvery river and its catchment area shrinking by nearly 40 per cent over the last two decades, the only hope for Bengaluru lies in restoring and rebuilding its water sanctuaries on a war-footing. It is time we revived and restored T.G. Halli so it can resume supplying water to the city , which is always running short of it.