Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cauvery water supply eludes new areas The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

<cite>The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Cauvery water supply eludes new areas</cite>: "
The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) on December 3 had launched with great fanfare its scheme to provide 100 million litres of Cauvery water every day to newly added areas of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).But till now, the board has been unable to supply water as people in the 72 wards do not seem enthusiastic about paying up the beneficiary capital contribution and the hefty penalties that come with it.
We cannot supply water to only one house on a street. If we turn the valve open, then water becomes available for every house on that street, leading to unauthorised water connections,” a senior official at the board told The Hindu.

Apparently, the board did not have any mechanism in place to ensure that water reached only those who paid up. As a result, even those who paid Rs. 10,000, when contributions were collected in 2005 for a 1,200 sq ft site have not received the coveted water supply.

The poor response to the new water connections had to do with huge penalties imposed on those who did not pay the beneficiary capital contribution by July 31, 2005, the deadline set by the State Government.

In case, money was not paid by then, penalties of at least Rs. 2,700, Rs. 5,400 or Rs. 8,100, depending on the site dimensions, will have to be paid. The board says it cannot waive off penalties as it is according to State Government orders and only the latter can take a call on it.

At a protest by Lok Paritran and residents of various localities in Mahadevapura zone on Wednesday, people questioned the logic of penalties imposed. M.V. George, a resident of Kuvempunagar said, “Why should I pay a fine amount when the service has not been provided still?”

H.R. Gopalkrishna, resident of Pai Layout, said that the manner of collecting fines and capital contribution was not fair. “They are charging the contribution based on the dimensions of the site. If I have a 1,300 sq ft house, then I have to pay the same amount that someone with a site as big as 2,400 sq ft”

Monday, January 21, 2008

BWSSB Master plane of Piplines exists or Not? Work on underpass to go on for 10 more days The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

<cite>The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Work on underpass to go on for 10 more days</cite>: "
Work on the 'magic ready-to-fit' underpass, which was earlier scheduled to be completed in 72 hours from the start at 10 a.m. on January 16, will now take another 10 days.This is because of uncontrollable water seepage from the huge underground water lines detected while excavating the earth.Regretting the delay, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner S. Subramanya told presspersons on Saturday that 'he committed a mistake by having announced a 72-hour deadline for the project.
“I am sorry for not being able to meet the deadline. I should have made statements only after the work. I regret the delay and the resultant inconvenience caused to citizens. Work has slowed down because of the wet surface in the trenches. We may require another 10 days for completing the project. But I assure you that we will complete it at the earliest,” Mr. Subramanya said.

Denying that the delay in the work would escalate the project cost, he said the contracts had been awarded on the basis of the quantity of elements required to be placed for the facility. But contractors executing the Rs. 1.5-crore project told The Hindu that the cost might go up by 25 per cent.

“With an extended deadline, our costs on men, material and fuel for the heavy duty machines will go up by 25 per cent,” one of the three contractors handling the project said.
Old lines

One abandoned and two live water lines, apart from two minor sewerage lines passing beneath the area where the proposed ramp for the underpass has to be laid, were detected only during excavation.

Asked why these lines were not traced during the Ground Penetration Radar (GPR) tests done before the start of work, the commissioner said the lines were those that had been laid prior to 1900, during the British regime.

“These lines were found at a depth of 5.2 metres from the ground level, whereas GPR equipment can penetrate only up to two to three metres,” he said.

Refusing to set a deadline for the other six proposed “ready-to-fit” underpasses at various junctions, the commissioner said they would be taken up in a phased manner after completing the Cauvery junction facility.
Utility maps

Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) chairperson Latha Krishna Rao, who denied that the board did not have a master plan of water pipelines in the city, said: “We have maps of utilities that were laid after 1900. As these lines were laid much before that, we were not aware of their location.”

The board was set up in the 1950s and water supply prior to that was taken care by the erstwhile BMP.

“But even we do not have any maps with regard to these lines,” Mr Subramanya pointed out.

Ms. Latha Krishna Rao said the seepage was being plugged and it would not affect the underpass work in the future.

“This is a dream project, an innovative experiment that will surely see success in the next 10 days. Probably, if we had more time and had knowledge of their existence, we could have shifted them before work started. We will ensure that all such lines are shifted in advance for all other projects and such a situation will not repeat,” she said.

Underpass at Cauvery cinema may be ready only on Sunday The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

<cite>The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Underpass at Cauvery cinema may be ready only on Sunday</cite>: "
The work on the new underpass at the busy Cauvery cinema intersection of Sankey Road has been delayed by a day and it is likely to be thrown open to vehicular traffic only on Sunday.Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Commissioner S. Subramanaya, who has been at the work spot for most of the last 48 hours, along with senior engineering staff including Chief Engineer (Roads) Krishna Reddy, told The Hindu that yet another major drinking water supply pipeline passing beneath the area where the proposed ramp for the underpass has to be laid has come in the way. Earlier, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board had told the BBMP that it was only a dummy water supply line.
Much to the concern of the BBMP personnel and the contractors for the project, earlier in the day the entire work area was flooded with water and there could not be any progress in the installation of the “ready-to-fit” underpass unless the water supply lines were shifted. While the BWSSB personnel were busy fixing the punctured 400 MM water supply line, the personnel of the BBMP were kept busy in pumping out the water from the area. It was also strange that the BWSSB personnel took several hours to even locate the valve to stop the flow of water in the pipeline concerned.

Irrespective of the delay in the commissioning of the underpass (it was originally scheduled to be opened in 72 hours with the work commencing on Wednesday. It is now expected to take double the time), many of the Sadashivanagar and Lower Palace Orchards residents expressed their appreciation to the speed in which the work was being executed. A German engineer (tourist) at the spot amazed by the huge earth-moving equipment deployed at the work spot said work on underpasses in his country was also executed in the same style.

Mr. Subramanya said during the intervening period (shifting of the water supply lines), the BBMP had completed the excavation of the earth to construct the ramps, the drainage of the underpass, soil nailing work and approach roads to the underpass. “All that now remains to be done is asphalting the new road and completing the grade level road to link over the underpass with the Sankey Road (leading to the Mekhri circle).”

The BBMP Commissioner said the work on a similar underpass at the Palace Guttahalli intersection of the Sankey road would commence on Sunday soon after the Cauvery underpass was thrown open.

“We are waiting for the completion of the first underpass before commencing the work at Palace Guttahalli which is a much more major work,” he added.

Friday, January 18, 2008

NICE: BWSSB defends refusal to shift water line The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

<cite>The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : NICE: BWSSB defends refusal to shift water line</cite>: "
The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) on Monday defended before the Karnataka High Court its decision not to permit Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) to shift water and sewerage lines in four locations in Bangalore, saying that any such move would affect water supply and sanitation in several areas.The BWSSB made this statement in an affidavit filed after NICE had petitioned the High Court against the delay by the board in shifting water and sanitary lines.

NICE said it had entered into a framework agreement (FWA) with the State Government on April 3, 1997 for implementing the expressway road project between Bangalore and Mysore. On August 9, 2002, a tripartite agreement was signed between the State and the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (BMICP) for going ahead with the project.

It said, on December 27, 2006 it had written to the Chief Engineer (M), BWSSB, stating that water pipelines had to be shifted at four locations in Bangalore to enable it to complete the expressway.

It said it wanted the 1,625 mm diameter MS transmission water line at Uttarahalli-Kengeri Junction at Chennasandra crossing, 600 MM diameter water line at the Interconnection Loop Road towards Electronics City, the 225 mm diameter sanitary pipeline at Panterpalya, parallel to the BDA Road and the 600 mm diameter water supply line near PES College to be shifted.

NICE said it had written several times to the BWSSB to permit it to shift the lines to enable it to complete the project.
Amount deposited
It said it had deposited Rs. 77.10 lakh with the BWSSB towards shifting of these utility lines. It said once the project was completed, the lines would be reconnected.

It said the water board had not taken any action to shift the utilities. It said the shifting of the lines was necessary for it to complete the project.

Opposing the petition, the BWSSB said the water lines could not be shifted as they were essential for providing water to residents of western and northern parts of Bangalore and to several establishments such as the Indian Air Force (IAF) station near Yelahanka, Border Security Force (BSF) headquarters in Yelahanka and the International Airport (BIAL) which is coming up at Devanahalli.

It said the 1625 mm diameter water line at Uttarahalli transmitted water to the city and that it ran from Tataguni to Hegganahalli.

This, it said, was the main water supply line to areas coming in the west and north of Bangalore and any disruption would cause hardship to the citizens.

Similarly, water to residents of Banashankari 3rd Stage was being fed by the 600 mm diameter line and, therefore, this line too could not be shifted.

The board said after it had taken a technical opinion, it had decided not to go ahead with the shifting of the water and sanitary lines.

Justice Ashok B. Hinchigeri adjourned further hearing on the petition and adjourned further hearing on the case for final disposal on January 21.

Work on ‘ready-to-fit’ underpass begins The Hindu : Front Page :

<cite>The Hindu : Front Page : Work on ‘ready-to-fit’ underpass begins</cite>: "
Amidst apprehensions and scepticism about the success of pre-cast underpasses, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) started work on the actual fixing of the first of its seven 'ready-to-fit' underpasses at Cauvery junction on Wednesday.Backed by heavy-duty equipment, BBMP staff began excavating earth on Sankey Road in front of Sadashivnagar 18th Cross Road even as sceptics stopped to wonder how a government agency could build an underpass in 72 hours. 'I have my own doubts about the completion of this facility in 72 hours as claimed by BBMP officials. We have seen the functioning of BBMP in the past and we know how different it is from a private agency,' said Bala Chander, a freelance consultant who uses the Sankey Road.
To check if any utility lines passed underneath the road where work is on, the civic body has got Ground Penetration Radar (GPR) for testing and soil investigation. “We have bored holes at various places to check if there is a rock beneath and started work only after that,” Mr. Reddy said.

After digging five metres below the ground level, a minor seepage from an abandoned waterline was detected at the worksite. “But that will not affect work. We have covered the seepage with filter media and have diverted it,” said Ravi Prakash, Assistant Executive Engineer (Malleswaram).

A huge drinking water pipeline leading to Palace Guttahalli and Vyalikaval areas passing through the work spot has been rerouted in such a way that supply is not affected. “We supplied water till 10 a.m. as usual on Wednesday and then disconnected the pipeline. Supply will resume as usual on Thursday as we anyway supply water only on alternate days,” said BWSSB Chief Engineer (Maintenance) T. Venkataraju.

However, a press release from the BWSSB said water supply will be affected on Friday in parts of Malleswaram, Yeswanthpur, R.T. Nagar and Sanjayanagar.