Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Storm water drain remodelling makes little progress

The Hindu : Front Page : Storm water drain remodelling makes little progress

Though the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) realised early in the new millennium that the storm water drains in Bangalore city needed an overhaul, a project to achieve this has made little progress.

The initial efforts to remove silt from the storm water drains succeeded only marginally and the Mahanagara Palike had to think of a major project to improve the infrastructure. Rapid urbanisation has taken a toll of the storm water drains too, which have been encroached upon by real estate zealots. This and the dumping of waste in the drains by the people and the crumbling infrastructure have led to the flooding of the low-lying areas during heavy rain. The project called "remodelling of storm water drains" received its first budgetary allocation in 2002-03 when the Mahanagara Palike set aside Rs. 20 crore for it. However, that year the Mahanagara Palike could spend only about Rs. 1 crore. The project was taken up earnestly only in 2005-06 when the works were awarded to contractors. The initial cost of the project was estimated at Rs. 200 crore and it was revised to Rs. 418 crore.

After the project gathered momentum, Rs. 30 crore was spent. The BBMP plans to complete the project at a cost of Rs. 357 crore in this financial year. The contractors were given 18 months to complete it. Former officials of the Mahanagara Palike say that some of contractors have not shown the required progress. The former Mayor, P.R. Ramesh, alleged that the contractors were not penalised for the delay, though the contractual terms provided for that. The 18-month deadline was coming to an end but the actual progress was less than 30 per cent, Mr. Ramesh said.


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