Thursday, February 21, 2008

BWSSB to recycle water

BWSSB to recycle water: "The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) will undertake a project to promote use of recycled water for drinking purposes in the city.

The project will be implemented in phases with the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) agreeing to fund 35 per cent of the project cost (Rs 472 crore).

The project has been proposed as the demand for water has already reached 1.2 billion litres per day (BLD) as against the availability of 930 million litres per day (MLD) in Bangalore. Besides, the city�s water resources are dwindling with the population crossing the 7 million mark.

According to a release from BWSSB, the JNNURM Central Screening Committee, which met in New-Delhi last week, accorded sanction for the project.

The remaining 65 per cent of the project cost will be funded by the state government and it includes a loan component from Japan Bank of International Co-operation.

The BWSSB will collect used water in Visvesvaraya Valley. �The water will undergo tertiary treatment, ultra filtration and membrane process. The BWSSB will augment 135 million litres of water per day from this process. The project will be completed by 2010-11,� the BWSSB said.

The BWSSB is working on various projects to meet the growing demand for water in the City. By 2025, the demand for water in the city is likely to go up to 2.2 BLD.

BWSSB draws water from Tippagondanahalli reservoir (148 MLD) and Cauvery river (810 MLD). The Cauvery river cannot meet the requirements of the growing city.

This has forced BWSSB to restrict domestic water supply to alternate days.

The water shortage is aggravated by a huge share of water being unaccounted for � as high as 38 per cent � due to illegal tapping and leakage. Therefore, the actual supply of water to consumers is approximately 530 MLD. In addition, the ground water draft (through borewell and open wells) in the city is estimated at 750 MLD.

At present, the agency supplies recycled water containing �biological oxygen demand� (BOD) between 20 per cent and 30 per cent (considered fit for washing, gardening and industrial purposes) to major industries around the city.

Similarly, it is working out a plan with the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) for laying separate pipelines to supply both drinking and recycled water under the dual water supply policy in new residential townships like Visvesvaraya Layout and Arkavathy Layout.

The agency is expecting more funding from the JNNURM, which has already sanctioned Rs 404 crore to the BWSSB for seven different projects.

They include replacement and rehabilitation of existing sewerage system in Bangalore - Rs 176.75 crore; augmentation of drinking water from Cauvery Water Supply Scheme (CWSS) Stage-4 Phase-1 - Rs 12.26 crore; bulk flow metering and monitoring system in Bangalore - Rs 15.31 crores; underground drainage facilities and road restoration in Kengeri - Rs 18.76 crore; Yelahanka - Rs 15 crore; Rajarajeshwarinagar - Rs 41 crore and Byatarayanapura - Rs 125 crore."

Citizens take bath on road to protest-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India

Citizens take bath on road to protest-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India: "Senior citizens took a ‘bath' at 3 pm on Wednesday at the Government Arts and Science College grounds. S Lakshmanan, K Chakrapani and H R Gopalakrishna enacted this scene to draw BWSSB's attention to the plight of citizens who don't have access to water for days on end.

These men are members of Ramamurthynagar Welfare Association, which wanted to attract the attention of BWSSB and demanded that water be supplied at the earliest.

'Though Greater Bangalore Water Supply charges were paid 3 years ago, we're yet to receive water in our taps. Even an year after the formation of Greater Bangalore, residents here have been facing acute shortage of water,' said members. Now, residents are forced to purchase water from tankers and drink packaged water, they added.

The protesters urged BWSSB to drop the penalty of Rs 100 per month, which is being levied from 2004 on defaulters of GBWASP charges.

A resident of Pai Layout, K Jayarama, said BWSSB engineers have been fleecing the residents by charging user contribution at 10% on the cost. That apart, engineers have been collecting Rs 2,000 for inspecting the house to levy prorata charges.

Exorbitant road-cutting charges have also been collected from individual house and flat owners. Instead of collecting road-cutting charges individually, it can be collected as a whole from residents, the members complained."

Bangalore to recycle used water for drinking purposes Khaleej Times Online -

Khaleej Times Online - Bangalore to recycle used water for drinking purposes: "The growing demand for water has forced the authorities in Bangalore to take up a project to promote use of recycled water for drinking purposes.

The demand for drinking water has reached 1.2 billion litres per day in Bangalore against the availability of 930 million litres per day. The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has decided to implement a Rs4.72 billion project to recycle water for drinking purposes under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

According to a statement from BWSSB, the project has been sanctioned by JNNURM’s Screening Committee, which met in New Delhi last week. Under the project, BWSSB will collect used water in Visvesvaraya valley on the outskirts of the city. “The used water will undergo tertiary treatment, ultra filtration and membrane process. This will help the authorities to supply an additional 135 million litres per day once the project is completed by 2010”, the statement said.

Presently, the drinking water supply to Bangalore is being met by River Cauvery, which flows at a distance of almost 120kms from Bangalore, and the Thippegondanahalli reservoir. But, the 810 million litres from Cauvery and 150 million litres from Thippegondanahalli reservoir are inadequate creating a shortfall of more than 250 million litres per day."

The Hindu : Front Page : Magic boxes to enter Raj Bhavan Road

The Hindu : Front Page : Magic boxes to enter Raj Bhavan Road: "The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is planning to build four more “magic box” underpasses at GPO Circle and Raj Bhavan, Basava Bhavan and High Grounds junctions to ensure smooth flow of traffic on Sankey Road.

Construction of underpasses at these locations has become inevitable to prevent vehicles from piling up at traffic signals at the three junctions after moving smoothly on the Bellary Road stretch till the High Grounds junction.

After the completion of the five new underpasses on the Bellary Road stretch (from Anand Nagar junction on Bellary Road till Windsor Manor junction on Sankey Road), you can reach High Grounds junction from Hebbal flyover in just five minutes at a speed of 40 km to 50 km an hour compared to the 20 to 40 minutes taken at present."

BBMP officials expect a huge inflow of vehicles at the High Grounds junction after the completion of the proposed five underpasses on Bellary Road, which will further extend the waiting time at High Grounds, Basava Bhavan junction, Coffee Board junction through Infantry Road, especially during peak hours. Which is why they say that the new underpasses at GPO Circle and Raj Bhavan, Basava Bhavan and High Grounds junctions is the only solution to speed up traffic.

The BBMP has already made plans for this purpose and initiated discussions with the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage to shift utility pipes at these junctions.
Two-way traffic

The officials pointed out that restoration of two-way traffic on Raj Bhavan Road (between Minsk Square and Basava Bhavan junction) is essential to begin construction of the underpasses at GPO circle and Raj Bhavan junction.

“We have apprised the city traffic police and requested them to prepare a traffic management plan to suit the design of the underpasses,” said a senior BBMP official. The drive from Hebbal flyover to central part of the city will be signal-free when all the 10 underpasses are built.

Proper pedestrian crossings will be provided at all these junctions (GPO circle, Raj Bhavan, Basava Bhavan and High Grounds) unlike the stretch between High Ground junction and BDA junction, and from Cauvery junction to Mekhri circle, the officials pointed out.

The BBMP is also proposing skywalks for pedestrian at a few places on Sankey Road-Bellary Road junction, depending on the alignment of the proposed elevated rail link to international airport.
Defence land

Meanwhile, the BBMP is unable to widen the road towards Sanjaynagar from the Bellary Road junction as the defence authorities have not yet responded to its request for some land belonging to Air Force near the Bellary Road junction.

The width of Bellary Road from Hebbal flyover will be 45 metres till Sanjaynagar junction, 35 metres till Mekhri circle and 24 metres from Mekhri circle to High Grounds. The road can be widened between Mekhri circle and BDA junction if a portion of the Palace Ground (under legal dispute) is made available, said BBMP Chief Engineer (Major Roads) Krishna Reddy.

One lakh apartments may remain vacant in Bangalore by April The Hindu : Front Page

The Hindu : Front Page : One lakh apartments may remain vacant in Bangalore by April: "Is Bangalore’s real estate market heading for a slump? Such is the impact of the real estate slowdown in Bangalore that the number of unoccupied apartments in and around the city is expected to touch nearly one lakh by April.

Citing the outcome of an “informal survey,” Inspector-General of Registration and Commissioner of Stamps H. Shashidhar told a workshop organised here on Tuesday by the Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board that these indeed were the current market trends.

Later, speaking to The Hindu, he said that the figure included both old and new apartments, i.e., those that had not been sold, those that had not been rented out and those now under construction. Mr. Shashidhar said that registrations of property in the State had reduced by 45 to 50 per cent, partially due to the ban on registration of revenue sites.

Lack of infrastructure such as proper roads, drinking water supply and availability of schools had also contributed to the slowdown in property transactions. Moreover, people had become cautious while buying property and choosing only those which had clear titles." (snip)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Underpasses: BWSSB begins shifting of water lines The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Underpasses: BWSSB begins shifting of water lines: "To avoid the problems that were encountered during the work on the underpass at the Cauvery junction, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has taken up shifting of water and sewage lines well ahead of the start of work on the remaining six underpasses on Bellary Road leading to the international airport at Devanahalli.

BWSSB officials say that the reason the water pipes were cut at the Cauvery junction was because they were not given enough time to exhaustively check the existence of all the active lines.

“But now that we have been informed in advance, we have taken up work at the other junctions,” BWSSB chairperson Latha Krishna Rao told The Hindu. Underpasses will be constructed at Balabrooie junction, Cunningham Road junction, Windsor Manor junction, BDA junction, Sanjaynagar junction and CBI junction.

The first one at Cauvery junction is nearing completion. The road from Hebbal flyover to Balabrooie junction is also being widened.

Building these underpasses and widening the roads entails massive shifting of utility lines, particularly water and sanitary lines.

“We have data on the major lines, as the BWSSB had undertaken GIS infrastructure mapping under Indo-French protocol in core areas. Fortunately, this section was also mapped and we have a fair idea of the water and sanitary lines,” Ms. Rao said.

As per the road alignment, the existing water and sanitary lines fall right below the underpasses at many points. The BWSSB has to shift these lines to the extreme ends of the road and link them up to the existing ones.

Shifting of the water and sanitary lines would be completed at the BDA junction on Sunday, while the work is complete at the CBI junction.

“We only need to link up the lines to the existing ones at the CBI junction,” Ms. Rao said.

Meanwhile, the complicated piece of work for the BWSSB lies at the Windsor Manor junction.

“The alignment of the underpass at the junction falls right under our main feeder line, which provides water to all of Bangalore North. Shifting this will be a major task,” she said.

This feeder line starts from the BWSSB reservoir at the High Grounds. Following the widening of the Golf Course Road, about 870 metres of the pipeline has been shifted and another 130 metres remain to be shifted.
Electric cables

One of the problems that the BWSSB encounters in the massive shifting of lines is the presence of live electric cables.

“We have to stop work when we come across underground electric wires. We have to wait for Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) to complete the work, and even they take time as they simply cannot shut off power to the entire area for long periods,” Ms. Rao said.

Coordination between the BBMP and BWSSB, lack of which had been a major cause for delay in projects, seems to have improved.

“The BBMP has already given us Rs. 6 crore for shifting water and sanitary lines at the Golf Course and Raj Bhavan. Money is expected soon for the work we have undertaken at Cauvery and BDA junctions,” Ms. Rao said."

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Deccan Herald - Water connection charges hiked

Deccan Herald - Water connection charges hiked: "The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has hiked the pro-rata charges the one-time payment for new water connections for commercial and multi-storey residential buildings with effect from February 1.

Highly placed sources told Deccan Herald that the BWSSB board has approved the increase and zonal offices have been intimated about it.

The hike has been effected to generate additional funds for development works.

The last revision was effected in December 1999.

The rates have been hiked by Rs 10 per square metre for residences, Rs 40 per sq metre for apartments and Rs 60 per sq metre for commercial establishments. One half of the amount is for water supply and the rest for sanitation.

Residences having second floor and above with sital area of 1,200 sq feet and above will now have to pay Rs 150 per square metre instead of Rs 140.

All apartments, irrespective of sital area, will have to pay Rs 200 per sq metre in place of the earlier Rs 160. Commercial buildings, irrespective of sital area, have to pay Rs 300 per square metre in place of the Rs 240.
Government buildings will continue to be charged Rs 240 per sq metre.

Applications submitted till January 31, will be processed as per the old rates. For applications submitted after January 31, the new rates apply.

The hike took unawares those who came to apply for new connections at Cauvery Bhavan on Friday.

Some residents of Pai Layout, Benniganahalli, were shocked when asked to pay more. “It is unfortunate. We want to know if the news is true or not?” asked a resident."

Friday, February 8, 2008

Ring road project poses threat to Bangalore’s vital water source The Hindu : Front Page

The Hindu : Front Page : Ring road project poses threat to Bangalore’s vital water source: "With the land within the ecologically sensitive Thippagondanahalli reservoir catchment area set to be acquired for the first phase of Peripheral Ring Road, the threat of irreparable damage to a vital water source for Bangalore city looms large.

The final notification issued by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) for acquisition of land for the road project lists 30 survey numbers that were declared out of bounds for any activity except agriculture in 2003.

Ten survey numbers in Madanayakanahalli, 12 in Hanumanthasagara and eight in Kudaragere, all in Dasanapura hobli, fall under Zone 3 of the Thippagondanahalli catchment area as they are located within one km from the banks of the Arkavathy.

In the land bearing these survey numbers, “no person shall carry on activities other than agriculture or agriculture-related activities without prior permission”, states an order issued in 2003 by the Departments of Forest and Ecology and Environment. The order was issued after a study conducted by ISRO stated that “unplanned development in the catchment area had led to deterioration of water quality and reduced inflow into the reservoir”.

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, which supplies water from the reservoir to western parts of Bangalore, is not aware of the acquisition. Its Chairperson Latha Krishna Rau told The Hindu that the board would have to examine the alignment and the survey numbers being acquired to assess the impact on the reservoir. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), which monitors the catchment area, is yet to take cognisance of the matter. “We did ask earlier for an environment impact assessment report, but the BDA replied that they need not report to us as the ring road was not a national highway,” H.C. Sharatchandra, Chairman of the KSPCB, said. The BDA, which is due to announce its compensation package for land acquisition, said it did not need to take any clearance as it was not implementing the project. “We are simply acquiring land. The NHAI will have to seek clearance as it is constructing the road,” BDA Commissioner M.K. Shankarlinge Gowda said."

The Hindu : Front Page : Thirty persons down with gastroenteritis in Bangalore

The Hindu : Front Page : Thirty persons down with gastroenteritis in Bangalore: "At least 30 people from two areas in Bangalore have been admitted to the Epidemics Diseases Hospital (Isolation Hospital) in the past four days after they reported symptoms of gastroenteritis.

Twenty patients are from Neelasandra and the rest are from Bharathinagar, and the cases are confirmed as gastroenteritis, sources at the Isolation Hospital told The Hindu. Four people from Neelasandra were admitted on Monday.

No case of cholera has been reported yet. A sample from a private hospital at Bharthinagar tested positive for cholera but on verification turned negative, a health official from Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) said.
Confusion prevailed in the BBMP over how many cases of gastroenteritis had been confirmed. Chief Health Officer at BBMP L.T. Gayathri said that 24 cases had been reported from Bharathinagar and six from Neelasandra. She maintained that not one case had been confirmed yet.

The source of gastroenteritis has been traced to water contamination in Bharathinagar. At Neelsandra, area medical officer Jayarame Gowda said that causes were yet to be ascertained and an indication of it would only be available on Tuesday.

Following the death of a woman at Bharathinagar allegedly because of water contamination, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board on Monday suspended K.S. Renukumar, area assistant engineer, “for negligence and dereliction of duty”, a press release from the board said.

Mr. Renukumar had apparently not been responding to complaints from the public.

On Monday, workers from the board were busy cleaning up the manholes in the area. “We are trying to identify where the sewage leak could have occurred. In the process, we are flushing out the manholes,” Executive Engineer Nagendrappa told The Hindu.

The Central Water Testing Laboratory in the BWSSB has collected six samples from the areas around Bharathinagar and is in the process of analysing the samples. “The results of analysis would be known by noon on Tuesday. Bacteriological tests have been conducted mainly for gastroenteritis,” the sources said. The sources said that such a case had been reported for the first time, as Bangalore received pre-treated water, and that the analysis would show whether water had been contaminated. "

The Hindu : Front Page : Two gastro patients test positive for cholera in Bharathinagar

The Hindu : Front Page : Two gastro patients test positive for cholera in Bharathinagar: "The number of gastroenteritis cases in Bharathinagar area is coming down with 81 fresh cases reported from the area on Friday as against 528 cases on January 28, when there was an outbreak of the disease following contamination of drinking water.

Meanwhile, two of the six persons suffering from gastroenteritis tested positive for cholera and have been admitted to St. Philomena’s Hospital. The Epidemic Diseases (ED) Hospital treated 24 persons — 17 as inpatients — for gastroenteritis on Friday.

Although no new case of cholera was detected in ED Hospital since last three says, results of over 80 stool samples sent for laboratory tests are awaited.

According to the BBMP, 1,502 persons (896 adults and 606 children) have been treated for gastroenteritis at its hospital on Thimmaiah Road since January 28.
The BBMP has been distributing Halozone tablets (used for water purification) free of cost to Bharathinagar residents although the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has said that drinking water supplied to the area is clean.

The BBMP officials said that use of Halozone tablets would ensure that the water was free from bacteria even if there were remnants of contamination in the utensils used for storing water. The water could be used 15 minutes after dissolving the tablet in it, they said.

Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party activists staged a demonstration in front of BWSSB office on Friday demanding replacement of old leaky sewer lines in Bharathinagar area.
‘Work as a team’

The advisers to the Governor have directed the heads of civic agencies in Bangalore to work as a team to contain the spread of gastroenteritis, according to officers who attended a meeting on Thursday.

The directive was issued apparently because of lack of coordination among various agencies in sharing information and taking corrective steps, the officials told The Hindu.

The advisers – S. Krishna Kumar and P.P. Prabhu – asked heads of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board and Health and Family Welfare officials to coordinate in tackling the crisis.
Appalling conditions

The outbreak of gastroenteritis has brought into focus the appalling living conditions in Thimmiah Road, Seppings Road, Bharatinagar, and Nehrupuram as each family has at least one member down with gastroenteritis.

At No. 120 on Thimmiah Road, 55 people stay in a cluster of one-room houses. Of these, 20 are down with gastroenteritis. Among them are a six-month-old baby and five elderly people. The sewerage intersects the drinking water line connected to this cluster.

Bernarde living in thesame area said the stormwater drain by the side of the road was blocked and the drainage pipe had cracked. The leaking wastewater sometimes flowed through the cluster and submerged the drinking water line. This was a common feature in the area, she said.

A Vinod Kumar, a long-time resident of the area, the water lines were laid 50 years ago.

On Seppings Road, the people were queuing up at a roadside as they did not get water for the last four days. Since the outbreak of gastroenteritis the BBMP has made arrangements for supply of drinking water through tankers. The medical and social workers have advised the residents not to drink water supplied through taps in the affected areas."

Underpass: Major works completed The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Underpass: Major works completed: "The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike on Wednesday began giving finishing touches to the underpass being built at the Cauvery junction with a hope of opening it for public use by Sunday.

“All major works related to underpass have been completed. Now, we are in the last leg of the construction work,” K.S. Krishna Reddy, Chief Engineer (Major Roads), BBMP, said on Wednesday.

He was confident that the underpass would be ready for public use by the weekend. He made it clear that the underpass would be fully utilised when another underpass, proposed at the BDA office junction, becomes operational. Mr. Reddy said the workmen of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) were working on shifting sewer and water lines at BDA junction and they were expected to complete it by the weekend. The BBMP will begin construction of the underpass at BDA junction as soon as the BWSSB completes its work. He said the underpass at BDA junction would be built using partially conventional construction method."

More people affected by water contamination in Bangalore - Udayavani

Udayavani - First look on Karnataka: "With 100 more people reporting ill, the number of those affected by water contamination in a city locality has risen to 600 on Wednesday as water supply authorities detected seepage of sewage in water pipelines.

'Except 38 inpatients, including 12 children, who have been diagnosed with gastroenteritis, the rest are suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting and are being treated as
outpatients,' sources in the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) Health Division said.

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board said it has detected the seepage of sewage in water pipelines and separated the pipelines.

All the affected since Jan 27 were being treated at private nursing homes and government hospitals through 'help desks' where they are being given Oral Solutions (ORS), antibiotics and also intravenous fluids in some cases.

To make the people aware of precautionary measures, pamphlets in Kannada and English are also being circulated. BMP has also launched a door-to-door awareness programme in
the area by medical supervisors.

'Though we have asked the Public Health Institute where the water samples have been sent for testing, to expedite the report, we are still awaiting it,' Dr Gayathri Chief Medical Officer (CMO), BMP said." Water borne disease erupts in Bangalore Water borne disease erupts in Bangalore: "Over 500 people, including 10 children, have taken ill due to suspected water contamination in Bharati Nagar area of the city.

While 30 of them have been diagnosed with gastroenteritis and have been admitted to private nursing homes, the others are being treated as out patients, sources in the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) said.

The dreaded summer ailment - gastroenteritis - has surfaced in. Test results are still awaited on water samples, but it would appear that sewage is mingling with drinking water, affecting the health of hundreds of people.

Twenty-year old Fouzia who fell sick was admitted to the Bharathinagar corporation hospital. She was not alone; hundreds of people living in the same area have flooded government and private hospitals.

We did not drink the water from the tankers, but drank other water, and then the diarrhea started. It began last night and it continues. In the street behind, my full family - all are sick,'' said Fouzia, patient.

''If there are so many cases happening, it should be because of water. It should be water borne, otherwise how can we explain so many patients having loose stools at the same time,'' said Dr B J Vedavathi, Assistant Surgeon, Thimmaiah Road Corporation, Maternity Home.

The hospital register makes it clear that the main problem is loose motion and vomiting, but authorities do seem to say the situation is not as serious as it appears.

''Not only gastroenteritis cases, they are just outpatients with cough and fever,'' said Dr L T Gayathri, Chief Health Officer, BBMP.

Residents of the area say they know it is contaminated water that is responsible.

''Till today, half of Bharathi Nagar is getting contaminated water only. Because the existing pipes are nearly 40 years old, some of the pipelines come under the manholes. If manhole overflows contamination happens,'' said M Pari, Former Corporator.

Authorities have finally stopped the supply of water to that area and tankers are now supplying water, and the inflow of cases seems to be slowing down.

It's a little early in the year for water borne diseases, usually a dreaded feature of summer. But the hundreds of cases that are coming in, would seem to indicate contaminated water.

That water supply has now been cut, but the main issue remains the vital need for clean drinking water. (With PTI inputs)"

Deccan Herald - Gastro spectre over City, 44 taken ill

Deccan Herald - Gastro spectre over City, 44 taken ill: "An epidemic-like situation broke out on Sunday at Nehrupuram, Seppings Road and Thimmaiah Road localities of Bharatinagar here with 44 people including 25 children below the age of 12 taking ill with symptoms of gastroenteritis.

Fourteen of the infected are being treated as in-patients at three different hospitals in Bharatinagar. Four each have been admitted to the BBMP hospital on Thimmaiah Road and Popular Nursing home, while six others are being treated at GM Health Care.

Relatives of the infected blamed the Cauvery water supplied by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSP) for their kin falling ill.
Harikrishna, father of four-and-a-half-year-old Keerthana who has been admitted at GM Health Care, said his daughter developed diarrhoea and vomiting on Saturday evening. She was admitted to the nursing home as there was no improvement in her condition on Sunday morning. He said his family has no source of water other than BWSSB’s Cauvery water. “Drinking water supplied in the area is highly contaminated. One can see foreign bodies in water even with bare eye,” he said.

Dr Anand of Popular Nursing Home said contamination of water is the main cause for gastroenteritis. “Four patients suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting have been admitted in our hospital,” he said.

Palike doctors said one of the four patients admitted to their hospital, is suffering from severe dehydration. “We are appealing to our patients to ask their neighbours with similar symptoms to take proper medicine. Ambulances have been kept ready in the hospital. In case of emergency, the patient will be shifted to Isolation Hospital,” a doctor said.

BWSSB defends

BWSSB chairperson Lata Krishnarao declined to accept the theory that contaminated Cauvery water was the cause for the disease.

“Water drawn from borewells or supplied by private tankers must have caused the disease. Unless proper tests are conducted it is not fair to jump into the conclusion that Cauvery water supplied by BWSSB is causing the disease,” she said.

She said the supply of Cauvery water in the area was stopped on Sunday after instances of gastroenteritis were reported."

BWSSB clueless on bad water source-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India

BWSSB clueless on bad water source-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India: "Despite the rising number of acute diarrhoea cases in and around Bharthinagar area, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has been unable to identify the source of water contamination. So far, over 200 people are reportedly suffering from water-borne diseases, showing symptoms in the form of vomiting, dysentery and dehydration.

BWSSB is not surprised. Over the past few days, Bharathinagar residents complained of receiving contaminated water in their households.

The complaints were ignored, and the first few cases of severe illness were reported on Saturday. On Sunday it resulted in the death of a resident - 50-year-old Rekha. On Monday, hospitals in and around the area were packed with patients complaining of vomiting and diarrhoea.

Despite doctors confirming that the ailments were caused by water contamination, BWSSB has so far been unable to locate the source of contamination. Instead, it has launched a cleaning of manholes in Bharathinagar - a problem reported by the residents 15 days ago.

"Water and sewerage pipes have been laid very crudely, and there are possibilities of corrosion or overlapping of pipes, resulting in mixing of water. We haven't been able to locate the source of contamination despite having dug up from Coles Park to Thimmaiah Road. We will continue the exercise on Tuesday as well. The results of the water samples taken will be arriving on Tuesday," said a BWSSB official.

BWSSB also suspended assistant engineer of Central II sub-division, K S Renukumar, for negligence and dereliction of duty after residents put pressure on the organisation. The Board claims that it has flushed, cleaned and desilted 50 overflowing manholes.
Officials also said that water samples collected from this area on January 22 had tested negative for contamination.

The Board has stopped supplying piped water in the area, and has instead been sending tankers. So far, 60 loads of water have been supplied in the area." India polarised over water privatisation India polarised over water privatisation: "Across India, there is a rising tide of water privatisation projects made possible in recent years by a radical departure in the way national policy views water.

Water is no longer just a public service to be delivered by governments but a resource to be managed well if need be, with the participation of the private sector.
National Water Policy 2002:

* Private sector participation should be encouraged in planning, development and management of water resources projects may help in introducing innovative ideas, generating financial resources and introducing corporate management and improving service efficiency and accountability to users.

It's a shift that parallels wider international trends sharply critiqued by environmentalists like Vandana Shiva who has argued against the commodification of water.

Excerpts from Vandana Shiva's book:

* Water is a commons, a public good. Privatization is the enclosure of the water commons. Will water be viewed and treated as a commodity, or will it be viewed and treated as the very basis of life?

In a New Delhi slum colony whether they want to or not, the poor have to view water as a commodity.

''Private tankers charge Rs 500 for 5,000 litres. But we have to pay. How do we survive without water? asked a Delhi slum resident.

Seen from the perspective of the urban poor, the moral critique of water privatisation begins to falter.

In fact, it's this failure of the public sector to provide water to all or to regulate its use that has formed the basis for those who argue that like other resources, water too must be more efficiently utilised.

Where the debate actually gets polarized is whether bringing in efficiency also means bringing in the private sector?

''From the World Bank's perspective, the issue is not one of private versus public,'' said David Grey, Senior Water Advisor, World Bank.

The World Bank seen as the greatest supporter of privatisation is keen to distance itself from what it calls an ideological debate.

''We are not ideological about which is better than the other. It depends on circumstance. And the important thing is when services are very poor we have to look at alternative solutions,'' Grey added.

''The question is of distibution, in plugging leakages. The non-revenue water in Indian cities is 50-60 per cent. If you reduce those leakages, you increase water supply by that much. If you compare Delhi with Paris, Delhi has 220 litres per capita water while Paris has 150 litres per capita. Paris has water 24x7. So why can't Delhi? asked Smita Misra, Senior Economist, World Bank.

Supporters of privatisation argue private companies are better placed to increase efficiency. Critics say private companies will raise tariffs making water unaffordable.

Apprehensions that get heightened each time a water privatisation plan is brought in quietly. Like in New Delhi, where Right to Information activists found plans to privatise Delhi's water supply been concealed from the public.

''This project was being envisaged since 1998 and till 2004 public had no idea that reform project or privatisation was being envisaged for the Delhi Jal Board,'' said Suchi Pandey, RTI Activist.

''When we asked them how do they plan to go about it, we found the private company will only be responsible for supply to district metering board, not households. So whether water actually gets delivered to homes or not is nobody's responsibility,'' Pandey added.

Each time controversy hits water privatisation projects, the debate becomes even more polarized at the cost of the real concerns, says environmentalist Sunita Narain.

Sunita Narain says:

''The larger debate in India is not about water privatisation, it should not be. The larger debate in urban India should be how do you make safe water available to all. The biggest issue in urban India is in the name of the poor; it is the rich who are being subsidized for water.

The other problem is in the technologies we are adopting for water supply, we are bringing water from further and further away. The longer the distance the water has to travel the more the leakages.

The problem is this debate has become so polarised between one camp the world bank, which essentially believes the answer to efficiency lies in privatisation, and the activists who believe privatisation will deprive poor even further.

I think the answer is not either private or public, the answer is really combination of both, but understanding is the only way to deal with inefficiency in the system is when you first learn to pay for it.

And you will never be able to pay the right price for water and sewage because it's too costly; you have to change the tech both for supply of water and taking back the sewage. Both sides are completely missing the point.

I think we should get out of debate over private. I think the issue really is you need to regulate the supply of water and the taking back of sewage of homes, don't de-link the two.

Remember in every country the body, which supplies water public utility, should always take back the sewage so that cost to system is affordable.

Once you begin to think like this, pieces will fit together, today these agencies are called inefficient because urban populations cannot even pay price for water supplied to them as well as sewage.

Bangalore charges most for water at Rs five per 1,000 litres, yet to supply it costs Rs 40. Mumbai charges less than Rs 2 however, long distance pipelines leakages costs Rs 30-40. If you were to take back sewage it's five times more expensive, so we must start thinking differently.

And I think the people who are crying public or private are completely missing the point that it's not about public and private. It's about the affordability of technology of supply of water and taking back the sewage and currently the urban rich India is wasteful. It is subsidised literally as we say to defecate inconvenience.

This is not about private or public this is about finding a new technology which we in urban India can afford, if we can afford it, our public utilities, our Delhi Jal Board or our municipal will become more profitable we do not need private agencies, private agencies are not per se more efficient.''"

Is Bangalore providing safe drinking water?

Is Bangalore providing safe drinking water?: "One person has died and 250 more are ill after consuming contaminated water supplied by the city corporation. The question looming large is whether Bangalore is providing safe drinking water?

The government hospital in Bangalore's Bharatinagar area was flooded with about 250 cases of gastroenteritis since Sunday night. One person is dead and two are still recovering at the hospital.

“After drinking water, I fell sick. I had a stomach upset and now I am taking glucose drips,” says Zarina, recovering from gastroenteritis. (snip)"

Woman dies of alleged water pollution-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India

Woman dies of alleged water pollution-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India: "One woman died and at least 20 were rushed to hospital with symptoms of gastroenteritis in Bharatinagar on Sunday following suspected water contamination. This has set in panic among the residents, forcing the BWSSB to stop piped water supply and call in water tankers.

The deceased has been identified as E Rekha (50), wife of an MEG staffer. Residents of Thimmaiah Road said Rekha complained of fatigue and dehydration on Saturday evening. Her son Karthik said: 'We took her to a clinic where doctors administered her medicines. She came back home, but continued to suffer irregular bowel movements. When we're rushing her to the clinic around 8.30 am on Sunday, she collapsed and died.'

Neither the police nor the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike confirmed the death by water contamination. BBMP medical health officer, Dr Dharmendra, admitted examining at least 12 patients on Sunday, but denied reports of death. "We suspect water contamination. Our officials have taken water samples for testing. The patients were suffering from fever, diarrhoea, vomiting and dysentery. Four patients were in Popular Clinic, five in GM Healthcare and three at Thimmaiah Road Maternity Hospital. The condition of the patients has stabilised," he added.

Dr Murali Krishna of GM Healthcare said all eight patients showed gastroenteritis symptoms. "Patients admitted on Saturday night are stable. We're administering intravenous fluids and antibiotics to patients who got admitted on Sunday. They will be discharged in a day or two."

Dr Ananth of Popular Clinic said four patients were recovering and a like number were still being treated.
Junking reports of water contamination, a BWSSB officer said: "We've been supplying chlorinated water, and there's little possibility that water can be contaminated. However, we've stopped piped water supply and brought in water tankers as a precautionary measure."

Many taken ill due to water contamination The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News :

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Many taken ill due to water contamination: "Several people were admitted to hospital after they were taken ill due to suspected water contamination at Bharathinagar here. While the news came to light on Sunday, residents of the area claim that people have been falling ill at least for the past 20 days.
Sources said that about 60 people have been admitted and some have fallen severely ill, most common of which have been severe dehydration and diarrhoea.

They attribute the water contamination to open manholes in the area which have polluted the water supply lines. The areas affected include Thimmaiah Road, Police Main Road, Armstrong Road and Fruit Stall Road in Bharathinagar ward.
Only seven

Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), however, said that only seven people have fallen ill and that the problem arose only on Sunday.

A senior engineer told The Hindu that those who have taken ill had been admitted to the Bharathinagar Government Hospital and a private nursing home and were treated as outpatients.

“If there is any water contamination, it could be only a local problem. The water lines could have been contaminated when the pipes were drawn to houses in the area. Engineers from the water board have been in the area since we heard the news and are trying to find out what the problem is,” he said.

BWSSB disconnected water supply to the area in the morning on Sunday. Water samples have been collected from the area and sent to the Central Water Testing laboratory for analysis.

“BWSSB is supplying only chlorinated water and there is no chance for any contamination,” a spokesperson from the water board said. He said that the board has started supplying water through tankers to the area.

Water is supplied to Bharathinagar from the BWSSB’s low-level reservoir near the High Grounds Police Station. Apart from being treated at the pumping stations at T.K. Halli, Cauvery water supplied to the area is also chlorinated at this ground level reservoir."

HC clears hurdle in NICE way Deccan Herald

Deccan Herald - HC clears hurdle in NICE way: "he High Court on Thursday directed the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewarage Board to facilitate the works of Peripheral Road and a link road part of Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project by executing and permitting the shifting, replacing and laying of water and sewage pipelines at four locations in the City, within four weeks.

Justice Anand Byra Reddy issued the direction while allowing a writ petition by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) that had sought a mandamus to the Board to honour its earlier commitment and allow works required to clear the way for BMIC. The court directed the BWSSB to execute shifting and replacing work of pipelines at two locations by itself, and to permit NICE to execute similar works at two other locations.
The court also told the Board to ensure commencement of the said works by completing formalities within three weeks, while directing both the Board and NICE to ensure completion of works taken up, within a week thereafter. The court further directed the BWSSB to issue public notices regarding impending disruption in water suppy during the said works and to ensure emergent water supply wherever required, while telling NICE to cooperate.

Works details
The court directed the BWSSB to execute the deviations of 1625-mm dia MS Transmission Line of Uttarahall- Kengeri Road near Channasandra, for which NICE had already deposited Rs 77.1 lakh; further, the BWSSB was directed to execute similar shifting of water pipeline at the starting point of Peripheral Road (Hosur Road) connecting the loop road towards Electronic City for which it had received Rs 30-lakh deposit.

The court asked the BWSSB to issue work orders to NICE to execute by itself the shifting of a 600-mm dia water pipeline parallel to the Ring Road near PES College, and for providing an underground drainage on Avalahalli Road near Pantharapalya village, which come in way of Link Road alignment. For these works, BWSSB was said to have agreed and received ETP charges of Rs 2.17 lakhs.

Pulled up
While opposing the petition, BWSSB had contended that it was impossible to execute or permit the said works citing reasons of inconvenience to public alone and suggested that the very alignment of roads could be altered. The court rejected its contention while pulling up the Board for its inconsistent stand. It observed that the same BWSSB Chief Engineer who had inspected and agreed to take up the said works earlier, was now stating before the court that they were impossible.

The court also rapped the Board for dragging on the issue. It observed that BWSSB officers had taken part in joint inspections of work spots in 2001 itself and the Board need not have waited all these years just to inform the company that it is not possible to shift pipelines."