Thursday, October 14, 2021

Vidyaranyapura wells: Overview (Part 1)

On 12th October 2021, I saw the wells in Vidyaranyapura and the learnings are captured below:

Vidyranyapura is located in North of Bengaluru, it is a residential location closer to Bharat Electronics Limited(BEL), GKVK and closer to Yelahanka. It is surrounded by Doddabommadra, Narsipura, Singapura and Veerasagara lakes. The region started to urbanize post 1990's and the lakes started to go dry. The lakes are now been taken up for rejuvenation by BBMP.

Map of Vidyaranyapura

Vidyaranyapura is known for open wells. Before the formal piped water supply from BWSSB the households had to depend on groundwater alone. Majority of the houses built during late 1980's and 1990's dug the open well first and then sourced the water from the well to build the house.  The groundwater table there is less than 5 ft from the ground level in many areas. The wells in this region are mostly dug by well digger Late Muniyappa (from Bhovipalya, Sarjapura) and team. 

Images of open wells in Vidyaranyapura

I took the help from well digger Shankar (Late Muniyappa's son) to locate the wells. 

  • On this day 20 wells are mapped using "Google Mymap". 
  • Many households have closed the wells after getting Cauvery water from BWSSB. Currently we could only see 60-70% of the wells and the rest are been closed using debris, etc. 
  • After BWSSB's Rainwater Harvesting mandate few households are using their open wells to recharge. 
  • Residents are using the well water only for domestic use and Cauvery is used for portable purposes. 
  • Majority of the households are not using open well water as they find they have sufficient Cauvery water supply. The households using well water say they receive Cauvery water twice a week which is not sufficient and they prefer open well water over Cauvery.
  • The well water quality is good in the words of residents.
  • Residents find relying only on open well water is not possible as the water level would go down in summer. 
  • Residents who have allowed rooftop rainwater say the well will have directed rainwater only during the monsoon and it will go dry completely post monsoon. 
Well digger Shankar would go door to door asking for work (mostly well cleaning) during the summer. He has also got to clean few of the wells as a result of this task. While mapping the wells residents who are using the well water were interested to get in touch with Shankar to get their wells cleaned in summer. 

- Rakshitha M L

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