Mangaluru: For my morning breakfast or little later during the morning time I go to one of my favourite restaurants in the city-but visiting this restaurant on Sunday morning after Mass, I was surprised to see that my steaming hot “Idli with chutney” and bisi bisi “Goli Baje” was served on a paper plate instead of regular steel plates, and drinking water served in a tiny paper cup. With curiosity I asked the steward, how come they were serving food and water in paper plates/cups and not as usual in steel plates. He replied saying that the restaurant was facing acute water shortage and quite a variety of the snacks were being served on paper plates. Since there was not enough water to wash steel plates and other utensils, we have switched temporarily to paper plates, till we get enough supply of water”.
Yes, the scarcity of water supply by MCC has affected not only the residents but also hotels and restaurants owners, who are facing lot of inconveniences. As per a report published in a National English daily, Swarna Sunder, vice-president, Dakshina Kannada Hotels and Restaurants’ Association has said that some hotels had introduced eco-friendly bio-plates made from Arecanut sheaths or Arecanut leaf plates. But this did not go down well with many customers who are yet to get accustomed to it. Due to the river Netravathi drying up, it has hit hotels, restaurants and lodges in Mangaluru, with the owners of middle-class hotels and restaurants worst hit. Many of them can’t even depend on private tankers anymore as many of them are either getting too many requests or have been hired by Mangaluru City Corporation to supply water.
Speaking to Mangalorean.com, one restaurant owner on Balmatta Road said, ” This water scarcity has really hit our business during the busy season, when tourists visit this coastal city. I have during the past few days spent a lot of money hiring tankers to supply water, and the worst part is that these private owners of water tankers are charging enormously. and our city authorities have done nothing to stop them from over-charging. If the water scarcity lasts for long, I may shut my restaurant till everything gets back on track. I can’t make money to please and serve my customers by shelling out more just ion water”.
It is also learnt that the flow of customers to hotels has also increased with the tourist season beginning. Also that the hotels and restaurants are getting some extra customers as many people who are unable to cook at home due to water shortage visit eatery places for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Summer is the time many owners of Hotels and lodges in the City earn enough revenue to continue their businesses during non-season time, like monsoons. The present water shortage has made this difficult as they don’t have profits to fall back on. But those hotels/restaurants having bore-wells, open wells or the capacity to hire a large number of tankers have not been affected. Water scarcity has hit about 600 hotels and restaurants, excluding bars, visited mostly by the middle class. As such hotels and restaurants remain open from early morning to late evening, they require huge quantities of water.
In the meantime as the water level at Thumbay vented dam has dipped down to 6.5ft, the Mayor of MCC has assured the residents of all 60 wards in the city that they will get water supplied through tankers. The civic body has also identified other sources from where water can be drawn to meet any contingency. The Mayor has also said that water from Thumbay vented dam will be drawn till the water level reaches 3.5ft, as against a maximum of 13 ft. But water can’t be drawn below 3.5 ft as the inlet point then encounters silt. Only way the water problem could be solved once rain God comes to the rescue of the people, blessing them with heavy showers. Let’s Pray!
Note : Pictures for illustration only