B'luru water body bans Holi rain dance, pool party

In the midst of Bengaluru’s water crisis, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has issued guidelines for Holi celebrations in the city on March 25. The board has urged commercial and recreational establishments not to use Cauvery or borewell water for pool parties or rain dances.

According to India Today, the BWSSB stated in its order, “Organizing entertainment like rain dances and pool parties for commercial purposes is not advisable at this time. Using Cauvery water and borewell water is prohibited in the public interest.”

The board emphasized that Holi is a festival celebrating Hindu culture, and there are no restrictions on celebrating it at home.

Despite the order, several Bengaluru hotels are selling tickets for pool parties planned for Holi celebrations. For instance, Rang De Bengaluru 2024 at J K Grand Arena is offering tickets for a “Holi Rain Dance Party” priced at ₹199 on BookMyShow. Similarly, Lago Palms resort is hosting an “Open Air-Pool Holi Festival,” while the Jayamahal Palace Hotel is providing “rain dance, Punjabi dhol, unlimited colors, and a Holi party until sunset.” However, HOLI 2024 at LULU Mall is organizing a dry Holi celebration, with tickets starting from ₹299.

Earlier, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah highlighted that Bengaluru is facing a daily water shortage of around 500 million liters against the requirement of 2,600 million liters. He instructed officials to meet daily and formulate an action plan to address the water scarcity.

The Chief Minister mentioned that Bengaluru has 14,000 borewells, of which 6,900 have dried up, and many water bodies have been encroached or have dried. Out of the required 2,600 million liters per day, 1,470 million liters are sourced from the Cauvery river, while 650 million liters come from borewells, leading to a deficit of about 500 million liters per day.

In light of the ongoing water scarcity issue in Karnataka, Bengaluru residents are opting for dry and organic colors to avoid using water to wash off colors. Hotels, clubs, and residents’ associations are also promoting innovative ways to celebrate Holi.

The Karnataka government has refrained from granting permissions for regular Holi celebrations, including pool parties. Despite this, the BWSSB has clarified that there will be no ban on Holi celebrations in the city, particularly at homes and residential areas.

As reported by TOI, BWSSB officials advised the public against organizing commercial pool dances or rain dances, stating, “If pool dance or rain dance is organized as part of Holi celebrations, then revelers should not use Cauvery or borewell water; they can use treated water.”

Furthermore, BWSSB officials emphasized the importance of rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge. They urged people, regardless of their building’s size or number of floors, to seek help from plumbers to fix their pipelines and to adopt rainwater harvesting to recharge groundwater.

BWSSB chairman Ram Prasath Manohar attributed the crisis to the negligence of people, stating, “They are wasting drinking water. The water board spends around Rs 95 to supply 1,000 liters of water and collects only Rs 45 from users. People should know about the importance of water and use it with care.” He called on plumbers to install aerators or water flow controllers in taps and raise awareness about them among the public.

(With inputs from TOI, PTI)

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