Meltdown | Cover Story | Down To Earth magazine:
Till a couple of decades ago Bangalore was a sleepy city — running to the rhythm of old trading networks and retired people taking their evening constitutionals. All that changed when the city became the Silicon Valley of India. Invaded by technological giants and the ubiquitous techies, the urban culture changed — became hip and happening.
Unfortunately, the city’s infrastructure did not change fast enough. Certainly it did not change fast enough for those who were being displaced by the information revolution. Bangalore city started devouring surrounding villages, stretching basic facilities like sanitation and water supply. Mobility became the focus of skewed infrastructure development. Money is now going into flyovers, new mass transit systems and road widening, without much thought about the appropriateness of these ventures. The proposed international airport, the subject of some controversy, threatens to take over a massive amount of land without adequate recompense for the displaced.
The bigger problem is that as the city has grown, it has eaten up its natural drainage channels and the source of its water requirements. A wide network of lakes in Bangalore was important sources of water supply — they are now either repositories for sewage or have been developed for real estate projects. The same goes for wetlands and open areas outside Bangalore. It should hardly cause surprise that Bangalore experienced major floods last year — ironically they derailed transport sector projects, which will no doubt, over the years, further imperil the city. This paradigm of urban development is, however, not new. It holds true for all the major cities in the country. (snip)
Friday, May 4, 2007
down to earth, online: "
Bangalore is thirsty and inundated with waste it can't deal with, but money goes into projects that deal with transport infrastructure.'While pumping and transporting 810 million litres per day (mld) water through an elevation of 500 metres, almost 30 to 40 per cent is lost.' And the amount of unaccounted for water is on a rise: from 29 per cent in 1995-96 to 39 per cent in 2003-04. To maintain pumping, 65 per cent of the Rs 353-crore budget of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is earmarked for electricity charges. While this is not enough to sustain the water supply target of 100 litres per capita per day (lpcd), another Rs 3,384 crore — the Cauvery IV scheme — is being implemented to supply an additional 500 mld water. In the last three and a half decades, Bangalore has already spent over Rs 1,710 crore in sourcing its water from Cauvery, which is bound to become more and more expensive in future. (snip)"
The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Directing the waste to its useful end: "
In what could clean up the sewage-choked valleys of the city, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) will soon take up linking of the main sewers to its treatment plants on the outskirts of the city.Instead of being directed to a treatment plant, the city's sewage flows into stormwater drains, which are meant to carry rainwater — one key reason why flooding is common during rains.Since the stormwater drains are linked to the city's lakes and the two rivers Arkavathy and Vrishabhavathi, it has polluted these water sources and contaminated ground water.Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, the water board has submitted a project report to the Union Government for approval to remodel 80 km of main sewage lines, which lie along the seven valleys of the city, for Rs. 176.75 crore."
The treatment plant at Koramangala and Challaghatta valleys treat 120 million litres per day (MLD) of sewage when its capacity is 248 MLD. The treatment plant at Hebbal treats 35 MLD when its capacity is 60 MLD, Mr. Basavaraj said.
The treatment plant at Yelahanka works at 5 MLD when its capacity is 10 MLD and Vrishabhavthi treatment plant treats only 110 MLD when 183 MLD is its total capacity.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Cauvery IV Stage-Phase II yet to get off ground - Deccan Herald - Internet Edition: "
The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board has appointed a consultant to work out the nitty-gritty of the much-awaited Cauvery IVth Stage, II Phase project -- almost two years after the foundation stone was laid for the project.NJS, a Japan-based firm, was appointed as the consultant recently to, among other things, prepare the Detailed Project Report, designs for implementation at various phases, chalk out tender conditions, conduct geo-technical testing at the project site and work out the cost estimates, a top BWSSB official told Deccan Herald.Estimated to cost Rs 3,340 crore, the project -- supposed to have begun by end-2005 and completed by 2011 -- is expected to pump an additional 500 million litres per day (MLD) of water. (snip)"