Thursday, November 29, 2007

Special water adalats in new BBMP areas The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Special water adalats in new BBMP areas: "
With 72 wards in the city all set to receive the coveted Cauvery water from December, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is conducting special water adalats in these areas to give details about new water connections and the formalities to be completed for the connections. The adalats will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on November 29 and 30. (snip)

Taps run dry, tanker rates touch sky-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India

Taps run dry, tanker rates touch sky-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India: "
Those living in Hanumanagar, Someshwaranagar, Srikanteshwaranagar, Thippasandra or Domlur understand the gravity of the water shutdown better than most others. Mahadev M N and other residents of Ganesha Block in Mahalakshmi Layout depend on their neighbours' sumps for water. 'We haven't received water for three days. How can we store water for the next three days? Many residents have also called tankers, but it's costing us a heavy sum. BWSSB should have made alternative arrangements,' he said.Hemalatha Devanga of Someshwaranagar says community borewell in her area has dried up. 'How many houses can store water in sumps? We have no choice but to depend on tankers, and most of us are apprehensive about the quality of water.'

Developed areas like Hanumanagar in Jeevanbimanagar haven’t been spared either. Water is supplied here once in three days, and at best for an hour. Fortunately, given the early warning, some residents called tankers and made arrangements for the week. Not everybody is as lucky in this area, said R L Nathan of J B Nagar III Stage.

Jayakumar, a businessman of the same area, added: "Water suppliers are acting pricey. Since there was no pressure in the past two days, we couldn’t store any water. I was charged Rs 450 for one tanker load."

In some parts of Rajajinagar, there’s been no water supply since Sunday and residents could not store water as there was no supply even on Tuesday, complained N Radhakrishna.


People stock up water The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : People stock up water: "
Even as the taps run dry in several parts of the city, people have switched to economy mode and stocked up water as much as they could in buckets, tanks and anything that could be used for storage.The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) on Tuesday shut down a part of its operations at its pumping station in Torekadinahalli, leading to a shortage of about 270 million litres of water to the city, affecting 30 per cent of the areas. The shut down is to link a new water line that will supply an additional 100 million litres of water every day from Cauvery to 72 wards in newly added areas of Bangalore from December under the Greater Bangalore Water Supply and Sanitation Project.Bhavana K. of Sanjayanagar says, 'After I read in the papers that there will be no water for three days, we stocked up in buckets and water bottles. We even flush only half the tank in our commode to save water.'While scores of people have stored water in their overhead tanks and sumps, those with no storage capacity are left high and dry.(snip)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Deccan Herald - BWSSB kiosks are quite choosy

Deccan Herald - BWSSB kiosks are quite choosy: "
Currency notes that could be jocularly referred to as `middle-aged' are the only ones that make it through the slits of the kiosks installed at the 24-hour bill payment centres of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB).Altogether 74 such payment kiosks have been installed in the City (newly added BBMP areas do not have them). Five such kiosks come under the Basavangudi South IV sub-division. When this Metrolife reporter assessed their performance, the men manning these centres, BWSSB officials as well as the public were more than eager to vent their grievances.Following the installation of these machines during 2003–2004 by Tata Consultancy Services, water bill payments are accepted only through them. Notes of the denomination of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 are accepted and any balance due from the department is adjusted with the succeeding month's water payment. There are men posted round-the-clock to help customers pay their water bills. Notes that are crumpled or cut or folded are not allowed.

A new 100-rupee note inserted by a woman into the slit of the BWSSB kiosk at Nagendra Block simply refused to stay put in. Despite seven attempts, the note kept popping out. She then had to insert a not-so-new Rs 100 note into the alloted slot and then clear her bill.

Chaos on the way-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India

Chaos on the way-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India: "
Scores of tall, massive apartments dominate the skyline. Rows of glass-and-steel facade complexes. Hundreds of sedans, vans, buses and trucks lined up for kilometres. This is part of Greater Bangalore — the 14-km stretch between Sarjapur Road and KR Puram. Testimony to the realty boom and expanding horizons of the IT spectrum.But this burst of prosperity is dogged by a ticking time bomb - inadequate infrastructure. There are about 2,500 mega apartment structures with dwellings of more than 1.5 lakh individual units. There are about 500 massive office complexes with over 1 million sqft of office space.There is no official count of medium and small apartments, and commercial complexes. When these are fully occupied, there will be more than 3 lakh residents in this sector and over 1 lakh employees of the knowledge industry will use this road. (snip)

Water and sanitation are absent in all layouts. While residents of private layouts bank on borwells, the richer lot resort to water tankers. The residents share a borewell between three to four houses, the builders have sunk three to four borewells for each project. The water supplier makes a fortune as his customer base is in thousands. For a few hundreds, every third day each household avail of the supply service.

The BWSSB has done literally nothing to provide water and sanitation facilities in these areas. With the board drawing up plans to develop these areas under the Rs 650-crore Greater Bangalore Water Supply and Sanitation Project (GBWASP), the project is still in the initial stages. A detailed project report (DPR) has been prepared for the Mahadevapura CMC and sent for approval.

The BWSSB is yet to begin furnishing the DPR and detailed design report for Bommnahalli CMC. The only saving grace for wards which come under both CMCs is that they will receive 100 MLD water by this year end.


Monday, November 26, 2007


Women used to travel two to three miles to fetch water. Girls and women used to do this work. To wash clothes on certain days we had to go to the road at 1 (a.m.) and do without sleep. We were not able to send our children to school because they had to come with us to fetch water,' said Muniamma, a 40-year-old mother of two living in MRS Palya, a slum community near a large Muslim cemetery. 'There was no peace in this community those days. They had to wait in a queue all night to get a bowl of water. Some young girls who go there get molested,' said Rahat Begum, a community organiser and coordinator of the non-government organisation Association for Volunteer Action and Services (AVAS) where she has worked for 34 years among the slums of Bangalore. This city is known as India’s information technology capital. In some areas, slums have given way to spanking new buildings of high-tech companies -- local and foreign -- employing thousands of graduates from India’s elite technological institutions, servicing global markets from the United States to Japan.

A stone’s throw away is a reminder of another India -- the slums housing the so-called untouchables shunned by the rest of the community. Bangalore has about 365 slums, which are home to a fifth of the city’s 6.5 million population and most lack water and sanitation services.

Salma Sadhika, a social development specialist with the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), observed: "The contrast between the two only serves to reinforce the enormous difficulties faced by the urban poor and the urgent need for new initiatives to address the situation."

Public service utilities like the Bangalore water and sewerage board could not give water and sanitation connections to the informal settlements because the latter do not have land titles.

Years of lobbying by community-based organisations like AVAS finally persuaded public authorities to find a way around this legal requirement. At Sundamnagar, for a community of around 300 households, mostly involved in casual labour and the service industry, AVAS was able to collectively buy land and work out a land title.

AVAS also gave collateral to the bank so each family could borrow up to 20,000 rupees (500 US dollars) to build a house. "We’re building people before building houses," explained M. Nagarajaiah, a community organiser at AVAS.

"We have to build, empower, organise and educate them." AVAS gave emphasis to educating women, particularly in water and health management, by setting up a water and sanitation (WATSAN) committee in each community. Most committee members are women.

At MRS Palya, Begum said, it is the women who maintain the system. "If the water doesn’t come and leakages happen, they immediately take it up (with those concerned)," she said. "Most of the men watch TV at home all day, and those who work spend most of their money on alcohol." Sundamnagar was supposed to be the pilot project of the partnership between the Bangalore water board and the slum communities in creating water connectivity.

"Today it is a collapsed project," said Nagarajaiah. "Water is not coming to the homes and people are refusing to pay." The women in the WATSAN committee, with the support of AVAS, took the case to the chairman of the Bangalore water board.

The problem, they said, was that water was being diverted to other communities and water pressure was not enough to bring water into their home taps. They had to dig pits in front of their homes to get water from the pipes at ground level.

"Monthly meter readings are also not being made, and we refuse to pay bills for a service we are not receiving as promised," said Josephine, a water and sanitation committee member and community health coordinator.

"(But) water is essential for us, so we are trying to work out a solution." In MRS Palya, the residents regularly get two hours of water a day. "That is more than enough for each family," says Begum. "They have time to sleep, take a bath and do all the housework."

The community is clean because there are toilets inside the houses and they have adequate water supply. "Before, we could not send our children to school because they had to fetch water at midnight," said Muniamma.

"Today, the children go to school regularly and they are doing well." "Society thinks that we are a poor slum class and we will not get our children educated and we will allow them to just roam around the community," said Vanitha, whose husband died 20 years ago. Their two children have completed high school.

"We are proud to say that since we got this water facility our children have been doing well. Many of them are going to pre-university college, technical education. All the residents are happy," she said. "The environment is very clean, there is no pollution in the slums. We used to get many diseases, now we are getting trained in computers, in management, and many are getting degrees. I’m very happy," said Murthy, a youth leader at MRS Palya who has already completed one year of a hotel management diploma. (snip)

Water supply in city to be disrupted for four days The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News :

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Water supply in city to be disrupted for four days: "
Bangaloreans prepare yourselves for a waterless four days next week as the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is shutting down part of its operations. Several areas in the city will be affected from November 27 to 30 when the board closes the valves at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.'We are shutting down the fourth stage of Cauvery water supply scheme at Torekadinahalli from 8 a.m. on November 27 for about 24 to 30 hours. This will lead to shortage of about 270 million litres (MLD) of water supply to the city,' T. Venkatraju, Chief Engineer (Maintenance) at the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) told The Hindu. The shutdown is to link a new water line that will supply an additional 100 MLD of water from the Cauvery to 72 wards in newly added areas of Bangalore from December, a BWSSB communiqué said. (snip)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Cauvery water for 72 wards, finally-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India

Cauvery water for 72 wards, finally-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India: "
f you've been eagerly waiting to get Cauvery water through your taps, your wait could end by this month-end, provided you pay up the user fee with fine. That could well be Rs 2,700, Rs 5,400 and Rs 8,100.New areas added to Greater Bangalore had been promised drinking water by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). They will finally get 100 MLD (million litres per day) water.After delaying work for over two years, the board has completed laying pipelines and giving connections to 72 wards in the erstwhile seven CMCs and and one TMC. The glitch is that BWSSB has made no effort to remind its consumers to pay up the beneficiary capital contribution as part of the Greater Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Project (GBWASP) scheme initiated in July 2005. Consumers in these areas will be supplied water when they pay up their capital fund along with a fine amount incurred for not paying it on time.

Now that the board seems certain about delivering as per the latest deadline, is is informing consumers about it? "We haven’t made any public announcements as there have been many delays in the project. This time we are certain of supplying water to these wards by November end, and efforts are on to approach people with a copy of all formalities they need to adhere to," said BWSSB chairperson Latha Krishna Rao.The board is preparing a booklet, which has details on the government order highlighting all aspects of the GBWASP scheme. Consumers will also receive a free application form with the booklet.

"We are giving away 1.5 lakh application forms free, for which we usually charge Rs 30. The booklets will be distributed by the end of this month," she added.

BWSSB will also release advertisements and conduct awareness campaigns in the identified wards of Bommanahalli, Byatarayanapura, Dasarahalli, Krishnarajapuram, Mahadevapura, Rajarajeshwarinagar, Yelahanka and Kengeri.As of now, only 25% of the consumers have paid the required fees. Hopefully, the rest will follow suit.

Rights panel issues notice to BBMP The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Rights panel issues notice to BBMP: "
The State Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to S. Subramanya, Commissioner of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), asking him to submit a status report on the steps taken to improve the quality of infrastructure in Yelahanka.Taking suo motu notice of the report 'Poor roads, garbage make life difficult' that appeared in these columns on November 12, the commission directed the BBMP to submit the report within a month.'If the allegations (lack of water supply and civic amenities) in the report are correct, it undeniably violates many basic aspects of 'the right to life' guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India,' the order states.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Environment panel to examine areas prone to sewage problems The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Environment panel to examine areas prone to sewage problems: "
The State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), headed by G. Srinikethan, will soon visit various pollution-prone areas in the city, particularly open sewerage discharge sites.The areas include Whitefield and Electronics City, near Bangalore.Prof. Srinikethan told The Hindu that the city was experiencing tremendous growth in peripheral areas like Whitefield and Electronics City, but there were issues concerning un-regulated building construction and poor underground drainage system in some areas, and absence of underground drainage system in others.He said a number of experts from environmental engineering, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and top district officials would be part of the committee that would discuss several issues like site location, suitability, requirement of land and water sources, wastewater generation, method of treatment and disposal, recycling, reuse, adequacy of land for gardening, landscaping, solid waste generation, collection and treatment, and mitigation measures.