Monday, December 29, 2008

351 Projects covering 63 Cities Sanctioned / in progress under JNNURM PIB Press Release

PIB Press Release
Under the Urban Infrastructure and Governance (UIG) component of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), cumulatively, 351 Projects were approved.

• The percentage of Additional Central Assistance (ACA) committed for the UIG Component has already exceeded the halfway mark of allocation for the entire Mission period.

• ACA for Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) has been released in respect of 505 projects in 415 towns out of 691 projects covering 558 towns approved by the State Level Sanctioning Committee. The releases comprise almost 50% of allocation for the entire Mission period.

• Urban Reforms are on fast track with innovations at State and City levels

• National Urban Sanitation Policy was launched.

• Service Level Benchmarks were laid down in key areas of Municipal Functions

• Ministry of Urban Development was jointly identified with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation for the “”National Mission on Sustainable Habitat’ in Prime Minister’s National Action Plan on Climate Change.

• A Capacity Building Scheme for the Urban Local Bodies was launched.


Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) has set the agenda for Urban Transformation across the country. Since the launch of the Mission. Memoranda of Understanding has been signed with 62 of 63 Cities and so far, 59 Cities have been covered under assistance. The percentage of Additional Central Assistance (ACA) committed in 3 years so far, as against allocation of Rs 25500 crore (UIG Component) for the entire Mission period of 7 years is 63.81%. The total project cost approved is Rs. 3360.94 crore, against which, the ACA released is Rs. 5041.47 crore. Also, of the 351 approved projects, State Governments have reported that physical work relating to 22 projects have been completed.

Under Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small & Medium Towns (UIDSSMT), 691 project reports of 558 towns have been approved by the State Level Sanctioning Committee, out of which ACA has been released to 505 projects in 415 towns involving Rs. 3192.39 crore. The State Governments have informed that physical work relating to 45 projects under UIDSSMT have been completed.

Urban Reforms

JNNURM has catalysed cities to undertake important reform initiatives. The cities have undertaken reforms which contribute to sustainable functioning of urban local bodies (ULB).

Some fresh initiatives include:

• Comprehensive Land Title legislation in Rajasthan,

• Creation of a Municipal Cadre – Municipal Accounts Service in Andhra Pradesh,

• Setting up of Urban Transport Fund in Surat and Pimpri-Chinchwad,

• Setting up of Urban Transport Authority in Hyderabad, Jaipur, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai.

• ULBs have initiated various steps to improve their collection of property tax and user charges in a financially sustainable manner.

Public Private Partnership (PPP) Initiatives

The Mission Cities have agreed to include promotion of PPP through appropriate policies and projects as a part of the reform agenda. A number of States such as West Bengal, Maharashtra, Kerala and Gujarat have adopted PPP Policy. PPP Cell has also been established by Assam and West Bengal for promotion of PPP for infrastructure projects in their States. PPP initiatives have been taken by Indore, Vadodara, Pune and Ahmedabad for establishing City Bus services. PPP initiatives have been taken by Kochi in Solid Waste Management.

Focus on Water and Sanitation

Water Supply projects covering augmentation, distribution network and metering are under implementation in 46 Cities. In particular, in 26 cities, the citizens will also get water supply round the clock (24X&) at 135 – 150 litre per capita per day. Sewerage network and connectivity to households is under construction in 33 Cities. Upon completion, the cities will discharge sewerage into network systems rather than directly into nallahs and Sewerage Treatment Plants (STP) will treat sewerage before safe disposal. Solid Waste Management Projects are under implementation in 30 Cities and upon completion, the collection efficiency is expected to increase to 100%. Crude dumping will be eliminated with the creation of engineered landfills with positive results for water quality and environment.

National Urban Sanitation Policy

The National Urban Sanitation Policy was announced in 2008, the international year of sanitation. The Policy was formally launched through a workshop on 12th November 2008. The National Urban Sanitation Policy envisages transforming all the towns and cities of India into 100% sanitized, healthy and livable spaces and ensuring sustained public health and improved environmental outcomes for all its citizens. Special focus has been given to hygienic and affordable sanitation facilities particularly for the urban poor and women. The policy focuses on achievements of outcomes rather than on mere construction of infrastructure, and emphasizes building capacities at the city level. The main components of the policy are awareness generation and bringing about behavior change, achieving open defecation free cities, re-orienting institutions and mainstreaming and prioritizing sanitation in all urban management initiatives at the national, state, city and local level; sanitary and safe disposal of wastes, promoting proper usage and maintenance of household, community and public sanitation facilities; strengthening urban local bodies to provide sanitation services by supporting need based capacity building and training at state level.

Bench Marking of Urban Services

The Ministry of Urban Development has prescribed Standardized service level indicators for four basic urban services (water supply, sewerage, Solid Waste Management and Storm Water Drainage) for enabling Cities to monitor, manage and improve their services delivery performance for basic services. Comprehensive set of guidelines with indicators (covering access to services, quality and reliability of services, cost effectiveness) and a framework for data collection, collation and analysis and a reporting mechanism as well as Bench marking has been prepared and circulated. The Mission cities in particular are expected to keep these bench marks in view while implementing projects under the Mission.

Other Initiatives of the Ministry of Urban Development

( a) Interventions for JNNURM: A few of the various innovations undertaken by the Ministry of Urban Development for better implementation and monitoring of the projects sanctioned under JNUURM are as follows:

(i) Supporting professionally manned Programme Management Unit (PMU) at State level and Programme Implementation Unit (PIU) at ULB level

(ii) Third party monitoring through appointment of Independent Review and Monitoring Agencies (IRMA)

(iii) Capacity building and communication activities for slow performing cities through Rapid Training Program (RTP)

(iv) Peer Experience and Reflective Learning (PEARL) to foster cross learning among cities and institutions

(v) Community Participation Fund (CPF) with the objective of enhancing engagement of citizens in the process of urban management.

(b) Credit Rating of Urban Local Bodies (ULB) - The financial requirement for funding urban infrastructure is significant and it is recognized that public funding alone will not be sufficient. In order to facilitating leveraging of debt for urban infrastructure projects, credit rating of ULB has been undertaken. In the Mission Cities, of the 57 ULB which have been assigned draft ratings , 36 ULBs have investment grade credit rating,

(c) Accrual Based Municipal accounting - A National Municipal Accounting Manual based on accrual based double entry accounting system was prepared and circulated to all the States/UTs in January, 2005 to provide a common framework and simplified toolkit to the ULB for recording accounting entries. As a result now, almost all the States have either adopted double entry accounting system or are in the process of adopting the same.

( d) National Urban Information System (NUIS). A Centrally Sponsored Scheme on NUIS was launched in March 2006 to develop GIS databases for 158 towns/cities in the country. The major objectives of the scheme are to develop attributes as well as spatial information base for various levels of urban planning, use of modern data sources, develop standards and urban indices, and build capacity of personnel in State Town and Country Planning Departments and the ULB in NUIS Scheme towns. So far satellite images have been received for 140 towns, aerial photography has been completed in 35 towns, and data collection is completed in 47 towns. Besides, 28 training programmes as well as 4 regional workshops have been conducted under the Scheme.

(e) Capacity Building in Urban Local Bodies (C-BULB). A Capacity Building Scheme for Urban Local Bodies was launched in 2008-2009 for providing grants to build capacities of the officials and elected representatives in ULBs. The capacity building programme for ULBs would address the needs of those municipal bodies which are not covered under JNNURM or other schemes of the Ministry like UIDSSMT.

Urban Transport

The National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) was formulated by the Government in 2006. The policy, inter-alia, seeks to promote integrated land use transport planning, better use of public transport and non-motorized transport mode, use of cleaner technology.

Progress in the Field of Urban Transport

• Delhi MRTs phase-I consisting of 65 kilometers has already been completed at a total cost of Rs. 10571 crores. Delhi MRTs phase –II and its extension for about 125 kilometers at a total cost of Rs. 19,000 crore is in progress

• Metro Rail projects have been approved for Bangalore, Kolkata on DMRC pattern and for Mumbai and Hyderabad on PPP pattern and are in different stages of progress. The metro project for Chennai is under advance stage of consideration.

• Proposals for Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Indore, Jaipur, Pune / Pimpri-Chinchwada, Surat, Rajkot, Vijayawada and Vishakhapatttnam have been approved under JNNURM scheme of the Ministry at an Estimated outlay of Rs. 4510 crore covering 409 kilometers with Central Financial assistance of Rs. 2065 crore.

After the NUTP was launched in 2006, a number of initiatives, particularly for capacity building, were taken to operationalise the Policy.

• World Bank/DFID assistance was availed for preparing the toolkits and guidelines, which were finalized in a national workshop in June.2008 for capacity building of State/city level Urban Transport Authorities and other stakeholders: - These toolkits related to:

i) Institutional Frame Work for Urban Transport – Guidelines.

ii) Toolkit for alternative analysis.

iii) Bus System (BSM) toolkit.

iv) Toolkit for Public Private Partnership (PPP).

• Asian Development Bank (ADB) assistance was availed for preparing the toolkits and guidelines, which were finalized in a national workshop in July 2008 for capacity building of State/city level Urban Transport Authorities and other stakeholders, The toolkits related to:

i) Toolkits/guidelines for Bus Service Improvement and Bus Rapid Transport (BRT).

ii) Toolkits/guidelines on Parking and non-Motorised Transport (NMT).

iii) Toolkits for Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP).

• World Bank/GEF assistance was availed for preparation of Sustainable Urban Transport Project in 9 demonstration cities to be implemented over the next 4 years with the World Bank, GEF, UNDP and JNNURM assistance.

• A new scheme of urban transport planning has been launched w.e.f. August, 2008 for providing Central financial assistance up to 80% for taking up traffic and transportation studies and preparation of Detailed Project Reports (limited up to 50% in case of DPR). The scheme covers the wide gamut of urban transport matters for promoting comprehensive and integrated urban transport planning, studies, integrated land use and transport planning, comprehensive mobility plans, preparation of DPR, clean development mechanism (CDM) studies, Intelligent Transport System (ITS) studies, launching of awareness campaign in line with the NUTP, 2006.

• In October 2008, the Ministry of Urban Development and National Capital Region Planning Board co-ordinated with the State Governments of Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi for facilitating the signing of Reciprocal Common Transport Agreement for unrestricted movement of vehicles in National Capital Region (Contract Carriage).

• An International Exhibition cum Conference on Urban Transport-Urban Mobility India was held in December 2008.

Bharatinagar suffers its zillion pains

Bharatinagar suffers its zillion pains
Despite the BBMP’s magnanimous allocation of Rs 1.21 crore this year for development work, living conditions have remained the same, if not worse, in Bharatinagar. Many residents are denied basic amenities like clean water and electricity.

While water supply is irregular, contamination of the borewell water is an issue residents have to grapple with. In January 2008, the area saw an outbreak of water-borne diseases due to contamination.

Though the BWSSB solved the problem then, cases of used water mixing with borewell water persist, due to which 25 of the 34 borewells in the area are unused now. Since tap water is available only two to three times in a week, residents have to make do with the borewell water ‘filtered’ with a piece of cloth tied around the pipe.

Garbage park More appalling is the regular dumping of garbage by the BBMP lorries in the Memorial Children’s Park in the area. Within the park compound is a nursery school
managed by the BBMP, which has to bear the stench and the mosquitoes. “For the last three years, garbage is being dumped here.

The Rs 5 lakh fund allotted by the BBMP in 2007-08 for renovation of the Memorial Park has been used only for fencing and construction of a walking area,” says former councillor M A Pari.

Lavatories raise a stink While the BBMP had sanctioned Rs 17 lakh for the reconstruction of the two public lavatories, only the painting work of lavatories was taken up, allege residents. “The lavatory is rarely cleaned, but people have no other option but to use it, as many houses do not have sanitary facilities,” says Thulasi, a resident. Thulasi lives in one of the 12 single- room houses allotted by the Karnataka State Housing Board under the Ashraya Scheme in 1996.

Two partitions in the corner of the room serve as the kitchen and the toilet, which residents hardly use due to health issues.

Powerless situation The area also faces power shutdown for two-three hours everyday without any prior notification, says M A Pari. Funds for reconstructing roads have been grossly misused, he alleges.

The newly-cemented Clerkspet-B Street here was completely damaged in two months due to rains. “Rs 5 lakh was allotted from the MLA’s development fund towards the road, but quality of work was poor,” he says.

Two government schools in the area - the Government Model Tamil School and the Government English Medium High School - which are in a dilapidated condition, were closed down three months ago.

While authorities claim that the schools were closed due to lack of students, residents in the area say that it is lack of facilities that deter parents from sending children to these schools. Stray dogs, lack of adequate streetlights and irregular desiltation of manholes and open drains are other issues in Bharatinagar.

In tech city, a 1-km trek for water

In tech city, a 1-km trek for water
BANGALORE: In a case of one man’s thirst feeding another man’s greed, the domestic consumers of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board at Kurubarahalli in the city are making some cool money out of their water-starved neighbours in Laggere. The going rate is Rs 2 a pot and the authorities are clueless.

Borewells in Laggere are defunct and the water supplied by the private tankers is unfit for drinking. Residents trek a kilometre to Kurubarahalli where a few households which have BWSSB supply trade them a few pots of water.

Kanaka, a resident of Laggere said, “There are about three to four houses selling BWSSB water. We buy at least 30 to 40 pots from each house daily.” BWSSB chief engineer T Venkatraju told Express, “We supply borewell water to some areas. If the people want to buy corporation water, we cannot stop them from buying it. Our domestic consumers cannot resell water, but under these circumstances we have to be lenient.’’ BWSSB has laid a public tap in Kurubarahalli 17th Cross, but it is not sufficient to meet the needs of the residents in Choudeshwarinagar, Laggere, Freedom Fighter’s Colony and Kempegowdanagar.

The Board also pumps water from borewells in the nearby areas, but residents find it unfit for drinking and water also does not reach this elevated terrain.

For all other purposes other than drinking, residents of Laggere rely on tankers at Rs 200 a load.

Srinivas, a resident of Freedom Fighter’s Colony sought to draw attention to the spill-off problems. “It is difficult to find tenants. Because of the water problem, tenants come and go every few months. We buy at least eight tankers of water a month and even that is not sufficient. People have to attend to their children and go out early in the morning to fetch water,’’ he said.

Padma, said their complaints have not been heard. Rajarajeshwarinagar MLA M Srinivas said, “I have told the residents of Laggere that I will solve their problems. The pipelines are already laid, we supplied water for some days. People in the low-lying areas have dug up big sumps and therefore people residing in the elevated areas do not get water. So we have stopped water supply for now. I will speak to the BWSSB authorities to ensure water supply to Laggere is resumed at the earliest,’’ he said.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Water woes are draining the city yet again -Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India

Water woes are draining the city yet again -Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India
Bangalore : Water woes are draining the city yet again. This time, water is being lost to contamination and breakage of pipes during drain work.

For more than a week now, residents of Kaval Byrasandra and Devarajeevanahalli wards have been suffering from not just inadequate supply, but also contamination of water by sewage. "Even today, we collected samples of foul-smelling and mildly grey water,'' area MLA B Prasannakumar told The Times Of India. He also expressed unhappiness over the lack of action by BWSSB officials, despite repeated complaints throughout the week.

According to him, these areas perennially suffer from such water and sanitation issues. He attributes much of the board's inability to the shortage of staff, including assistant engineers and valve men.

A resident of ST Bed Layout, Koramangala, has also been suffering with no drinking water since Sunday. Her drinking-water line was moved during drain work in front of her house. "There was no pipe to be found here on Sunday, only water draining out on the street. We've been suffering as a result,'' she told TOI. With no help from local BWSSB engineers, she approached the contractor in charge of the drain work, only to get a demand for bribe in return. "He asked me for Rs 2,500 to re-lay the line, for no fault of ours,'' she said.

BWSSB sources say they are working on detecting the source of contamination at Kaval Byrasandra and Devarajeevanahalli. Water supply to to these areas has been stopped till the contamination point is identified, they said.

Several parts of the city will have no water from 10 am to 8 pm on Wednesday and Thursday due to maintenance work at the pumping stations in TK Halli.

Affected areas include :

East : HRBR Layout, HBR Layout, Kalyan Nagar, Chikka Banaswadi, Dodda Banaswadi, Kammanahalli, Lingarajapuram, HAL II and III Stage, Indiranagar I and II Stage, Murphy Town, Tippasandra, Byappanahalli, Pillana Garden, Jeevanahalli, Gandhinagar, Frazer Town, Coles Road, Vivekananda Nagar, CV Raman Nagar, Kaggadasapura and surrounding areas.

North : Malleswaram, Seshadripuram, Kumara Park, Jayamahal, RT Nagar, Sanjaynagar, Sriramapura, Yeshwantpur and Hebbal.

South : Banashankari, Padmanabhanagar, Girinagar, Hanumanthnagar, Srinagar, Basavanagudi and Chamarajpet.

West : Magadi Road, Rajajinagar 6th Block, Bhuvaneshwarinagar, Padarayanapura, Annappa Garden, Mysore Road, Kasturba Nagar, Bapuji Nagar, Manjunatha Nagar.

Central : Shivajinagar, Vasanthnagar, Gandhinagar, Cubbonpet and Cottonpet.

South-East : Jayanagar 1st to 3rd Block, parts of 4th T Block, Wilson Garden, Bangalore Dairy, Shantinagar and parts of Koramangala 2nd Block.

BWSSB sources said no alternative arrangements will be made. "With water supply dwindling and considering the number of areas to cater to, it's impossible for us to consider making alternative supply while performing annual maintenance work,'' a BWSSB spokesperson said.

Dangerous Level of Contamination of Groundwater

PIB Press Release
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has conducted a study to assess the ground water quality in 35 metro cities during 2002-2007. The study says that the concentration of lead in ground water exceeding the BIS standard (50 parts per billion) is reported in certain parts of Faridabad, Delhi, Jaipur, Indore, Nagpur, Nasik, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Vishakapatnam, Patna, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara, Asansol, Amritsar, Agra, Madurai, Coimbatore, Chennai, Vijayawada and Mumbai.

The actions taken to free the ground water from lead and other types of pollution include: Exploration of ground water sources free from contaminants; Providing technical guidance to States in tackling problems of ground water quality; Provisioning of safe drinking water to rural population under Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP) and organisation of mass awareness programmes in ground water affected areas; and Directions issued by CPCB to limit the discharge of effluents within the stipulated standards and setting up of network of water quality monitoring stations and common effluent treatment plants.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Water Resources, Shri Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav in response to a question by Smt. Mohsina Kidwai in the Rajya Sabha today.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Blending modern tech with traditional materials - Corporate News -

Blending modern tech with traditional materials - Corporate News -
The head office for builder Biodiversity Conservation India Ltd (BCIL), one of the winners of this year’s Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) sustainability awards, looks a bit like the grown-up version of a pre-school. Unfinished wood planks serve as desks, and miniature toy models of futuristic residential developments are scattered between them. Plants are tucked into every crevice.
State of art: The TZED residential complex developed by Biodiversity Conservation India Ltd in Whitefield, Bangalore. The complex saves at least 45% energy through its innovative air conditioning system.
State of art: The TZED residential complex developed by Biodiversity Conservation India Ltd in Whitefield, Bangalore. The complex saves at least 45% energy through its innovative air conditioning system.
The 140-person company, which had a turnover of around Rs30 crore this year, uses a mix of looking into the past for traditional materials and looking into the future for cutting-edge technology. The firm’s main products, its housing complexes, employ a similar aesthetic.
Stone wells that resemble century-old water sources dot the landscape at one BCIL complex in Whitefield, but the wells are hooked up to an underground technology that harvests rainwater and filters. None of the flats has air conditioning units; instead, each relies on a type of fan unit connected to a centralized cooling system.
“For a small company of its size, it is a commendable thing to start,” says Suman Majumdar, who oversaw the awards process at CII. “They are creating a completely different USP about the properties that they are developing.”
Click here to watch video
BCIL’s chief executive, Chandrashekar Hariharan, started the company in 1995 as a way to move towards a more “sustainable” model for the development projects he was working on. Specifically, he wanted one that had a separate consumer base and its own source of income.
Following that logic, the idea behind much of what the company does is to reconcile the modern, urban lifestyle with “sustainable” practices that are environmentally sound. “If you keep preaching sustainability, no one will take to it, but if you talk about cuts in energy bills,” they will start to listen, Chandrashekar says.
BCIL’s first projects were in Bangalore, but the firm has since expanded into Mysore and Goa. Earlier this year, the company launched a consulting wing named Green Idea Lab, to help individuals and companies implement green ideas, and focus more on “retrofits”, or improving existing buildings, rather than starting from scratch.
The firm doesn’t develop its own technology but instead, looks at how it can adapt what already exists to residential communities. “Everything has to come through many iterations,” says BCIL project manager Amit Chauhan. “It is technology combined with design.”
For the cooling system in the Whitefield development, TZED (total zero energy development), for example, engineers looked at centralized systems more common in commercial buildings, and created something similar for individual flats. While single air conditioners have their own compressors, TZED created one giant compressor and installed a network of devices known as fan coil units to bring cool air into the rooms, using at least 45% less energy, according to Chauhan.
The water system at TZED, too, is entirely off the grid, meaning it doesn’t connect to any city water supply. Sewage water is recycled and used for landscaping. Rainwater is collected in a 400,000-litre tank, and filtered for every other use, including drinking.
Homes are designed to make best use of natural light and to keep air circulating through, minimizing the need for bulbs and air conditioning systems.
Other developers and public officials are trying to learning from BCIL’s successes. A town planner from Rajkot who came to check out the company’s TZED project in Whitefield said he was intrigued by BCIL’s reputation in green building. But if BCIL takes a more holistic approach, Rajkot’s B.H. Rupani is looking for something more basic: anything that can save energy for the residents of his district. “I’m more interested in the technical part,” he says. “I have to tell people to implement these things.”
BCIL won a separate jury award in this year’s contest, not only for its environmental sustainability practices, CII’s Majumdar says, but also because the company has created an economically viable model out of such products, raised public awareness, and kept stringent safety norms and provided accommodation for its construction labourers in the process.

Water supply to be hit next week-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India

Water supply to be hit next week-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India
Due to emergency maintainence work at the pumping stations in TK Halli, water supply will be affected on Wednesday and
Thursday from 10 am to 8 pm in the following areas:

East: HRBR Layout, HBR layout, Kalyan Nagar, Chikka Banaswadi, Dodda Banaswadi, Kammanahalli, Lingarajpuram, HAL II and III Stage, Indiranagar 1st and 2nd Stage, Murphy Town, Tippasandra, Byappanahalli, Pillana Garden, Jeevanahalli, Gandhinagar, Fraser Town, Coles Road, Vivekananda Nagar, CV Raman Nagar, Kaggadasa Pura and surrounding areas.

North: Malleswaram, Seshadripuram, Kumara Park, Jayamahal, RT Nagar, Sanjaynagar, Srirampura, Yeshwantpur, Hebbal.

South: Banashankari, Padmanabha Nagar, Chikkalasandra, Katriguppe, Girinagar, Hanumanthnagar, Srinagar, Basavanagudi, Chamarajpet and surrounding areas.

West: Magadi Road, Rajajinagar 6th Block, Basaveshwara Nagar slum, Bhuvaneshwari Nagar, Padarayanapura, Annappa Garden, Mysore Road, Kasturba Nagar, Byatarayanapura, Bapuji Nagar, Manjunatha Nagar and surrounding areas.

Central: Vasantnagar, Gandhi Nagar, Shivajinagar, Cubbonpet, Cottonpet and surrounding areas.

South-East: Jayanagar 1st to 3rd Block, parts of 4th T Block, Byrasandra, Wilson Garden, Bangalore Diary, Shantinagar, parts of Koramangala 2nd Block.

Friday, December 12, 2008

New tech helps tackle old prob in a jiffy

Anybody heard this Computer-Aided Utility Mapping (CAUM) in Bangalore?

New tech helps tackle old prob in a jiffy
A few days ago, pedestrians were seen gingerly picking their way along the busy road linking Banjara Hills and Punjagutta, their noses wrinkled and trousers or saris hitched well over the ankles. The sewage overflow was like a stream in spate.

On receiving complaints, the local division sewerage staff of the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) rushed to the spot. They were in for a really tough time.

Not being able to find any manhole around, they had no choice but to dig around at random to locate the leakage point.

When all their efforts failed, they sought the help of the Central Design Cell of the HMWS&SB. The cell swung into action and in no time at all identified the point, thanks to their pipe locator and the valve and manhole lid detectors.

The HMWS&SB acquired these latest equipment under the Computer-Aided Utility Mapping (CAUM) project of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

Hyderabad is one of the six cities selected for the CAUM project, the others being Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai. Under this, the board has received five pipe locators and two valve and manhole lid detectors, which help locate water and sewer lines deep underground.

Speaking to ENS, HMWS&SB officials said many manholes in the twin cities are difficult to lo- cate because of constant recarpeting of roads by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).

While the height of the roads increases with each successive relaying, the manholes are not being raised to the corrsponding levels.

The lids are therefore concealed below the latest surface, making it very vexatious for the HMWS&SB in an emergency.

The latest equipment helps find magnetically sensitive objects made of steel and iron, and hence enables crew to trace valve boxes, manhole covers and well casings.

The equipment is powerful and enables detection at considerable depths.

Originally designed to locate water mains, pipes and manholes, they are also the perfect choice for work in congested areas and at depths where other metal detectors simply do not function.

And they do not need constant recalibrating, are built to last and have a clear audio signal and a clear audio tone.

Their strong, focused search field ensures accurate location of objects close to metal fencing and vehicles and the light weight makes for ease of use with a single control button.

Whenever there is leakage, a transmitter generates specific frequencies that enable the pipe to be located.

Bangalore to get rainwater harvesting theme park

Bangalore to get rainwater harvesting theme park
In a bid to generate awareness on the concept of rainwater harvesting, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) will shortly be setting up a rainwater harvesting theme park at Jayanagar V Block of the city.

The park will come up on a BWSSB land of 1.25 acres. It is to be noted that the BWSSB has made rainwater harvesting mandatory for any new buildings built on sites measuring 30x40 feet and above, in order to sanction new water connections.

Rs 10 cr earmarked

BWSSB and IT Minister Katta Subramanya Naidu is a firm proponent of this particular rule. In its Budget, the state government has earmarked Rs 10 crore for rainwater harvesting.

“The tender for the theme park has been finalised for its construction and the work will be started in a week’s time.

Under phase I of the project, around Rs 30 lakh would be spent on setting up the park,” official sources in BWSSB disclosed.

The Park will house an information centre on rainwater harvesting and also display live demonstration models, literature and equipment required to set up a rainwater harvesting unit.

Methods of rainwater harvesting like recharging of borewells and groundwater sources near the house and collection of rainwater for reuse will be demonstrated live at the park.

Labelling the park the “need of the hour,” an officials source said: “In the near future, surface water will become scarce. ” “As there are no other alternative sources, groundwater recharging through rainwater harvesting gains importance”

In BWSSB offices

This apart, the BWSSB offices across the city will soon have rainwater harvesting facilities to set an example. “A proposal for installing a rainwater harvesting unit at Cauvery Bhavan has already been approved and is in the tender process. With this project, we can save about nine lakh litres of water per year,” a source said.

Water levels in city sink to a new low-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India

Water levels in city sink to a new low-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India
Here is stark ground reality: there is an alarming dip in the water
table. According to a recent survey conducted by the Karnataka
Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB), there has been a rapid decrease of the groundwater table in Bangalore in the last 20 years. The water table that was 80-100 feet deep then is now 800 feet deep.

Despite this grim situation, the BWSSB plans to drill 1,500 new borewells, particularly in the newly added areas of BBMP with a Rs 100 crore budget allocation. It has embarked on this project to mitigate the water crisis.

With Rs 33 crore already released, 350 borewells have been dug in the last three months. The BWSSB has floated tenders for another 1,000. But what is causing concern is that the water table is so low that in a few places water could be struck only at a depth of 1,000 feet. This includes places in East Bangalore, Mahadevapura, K R Puram, Byatarayanapura and Dasarahalli.

The depleting water table is not news but it’s the alarming depths it has sunk to that needs immediate attention, say experts.

But this is the only alternative for people till the additional 500 MLD of water through the Cauvery Water Supply Scheme stage IV phase-II is in.

“We have got 25 new borewells in the last three months. It has sure helped people with additional water. But water could be struck only at 800-900 feet,’’ Krishna Byregowda (Byatarayanapura), MLA, told The Times of India. He urged the government to implement the other modes of supply at the earliest.

“Having more borewells is not the answer. What we need is a policy to prevent exploitation of underground water and also some intensive land and water management techniques to enhance the infiltration of water,’’ said A N Yellappa Reddy, environmentalist.
Having exhausted much of the dynamic and static water levels underground, we have now hit the fossil water level which is the last level of water. “Beyond this, there could be no level to look to,’’ he said.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Water problems of Dasarahalli area

Water problems of Dasarahalli area
Even one and half years after merging Dasarahalli City Municipal Council (CMC) with the then Bangalore Mahanagara Palike - presently Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) - it is not in a position to supply drinking water
to the town.

Water was being supplied through borewells to Dasarahalli when it was a CMC. The same is continued even today. Also, the water supply is not regular in some areas, as the supply contractor has not paid salary to Srinivas, the personnel who is in charge of supplying water, for the past five months.

Srinivas said, “Earlier, when Dasarahalli was a CMC, they used to pay me regularly. Now, contractors have not paid me for the past five months. Yet, I am supplying water to the area whenever I am free.” Satish, a resident of Kereangala Road in Dasarahalli, said that the borewell water that is being supplied is saline and sticky. The residents of Kereangala Road buy drinking water from private suppliers by paying Rs 1.50 per pot. Shiva, a shop-owner said, “the drinking water we buy smells bad if we store it for more than a day. We somehow manage to drink the same water.” Local doctor M B Patil claimed that most residents of the area drink only boiled water. Therefore, the number of cases of water-borne diseases have come down. Yet, diseases like typhoid keep affecting the people quite often, he added.

A senior BWSSB official on condition of anonymity said, “At present, we do not have sufficient water to supply to the newly added areas. We are already in the process of laying pipelines to Dasarahalli. We will get an additional 500 MLD in 2011 after the completion of the II phase of Cauvery IV stage and we will then supply water to all the newly added are.

Peenya Industrial area suffers neglect

Peenya Industrial area suffers neglect
Peenya Industrial Estate may be the largest and one of the oldest industrial estates in South East Asia, but as far as basic amenities go, the estate has to deal with drainage lines that were laid decades ago and roads that have been dug up but never repaired.

The industrial estate is spread across 40 square kilometres.

It houses 5,000 small scale industries
and 30 medium industries, provides employment to around 5 lakh people, has an approximate annual turnover of Rs 15,000 crore, exports goods worth Rs 6,000 crore and pays Rs 3,700 crore as taxes. But all this does not seem to be not reason enough to provide it with roads and drains.

Underground drains in Peenya were laid by the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) when the industrial estate was formed over three decades ago. Drains today are almost non-existent as the drainage chambers have collapsed completely and in some places sewerage water is overflowing posing a public health hazard. Most of the industries have diverted their drainage water to the soak-in pits to prevent water clogging on roads.

More than a year ago, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) had dug up the road from SBI Cross to Jalahalli Circle to lay the water supply feeder. That has left the roads severely damaged causing a problem to motorists.

Peenya Industries Association Managing Council member J Ramesh said that they had complained to the commissioner about the condition of roads and the lack of sewerage facilities.

“The commissioner visited the industrial estate a few weeks ago but he has not responded so far. We had taken the BBMP Joint Commissioner and BBMP chief engineer of Dasarahalli division to Mumbai to show them the roads laid with interlock paving blocks. The roads laid with interlock paving blocks are good and last longer,” he said.

Prithviraj, proprietor of Barath Packaging, said that the sewerage lines in Peenya are in a very bad condition.

The roads were laid a year ago on government and privatecontribution basis.

The Peenya Industrial Association had contributed 15 per cent of the cost for laying the road.

BWSSB chief engineer T Venkatraju said that the Dasarahalli main road had to be dug up to lay a drinking water pipeline.

The work has been entrusted to L&T and it will be completed by March and the BBMP will lay the road immediately after that, he said. “The BWSSB has already started laying drainage lines in Gorguntepalya and the drainage lines would also be laid in Peenya,” he added.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Vision 2020: Surface water for all

Vision 2020: Surface water for all
BANGALORE: State Planning Board chairman D H Shankaramurthy has said that the draft of the vision document - a road map for the overall development of the state by 2020, is almost ready and will soon be hosted on the government website for suggestions from public.

The draft document would be placed before the meeting of the Planning Board to be held on Friday for approval. Once approved, the document would be hosted on the website calling suggestions, Murthy told reporters on Wednesday.

Among various things, the vision document deals with issues like drinking water, roads, power and health
prominently, the Minister said, adding that it proposed a project envisaging surface drinking water supply to all cities and villages in the state.

At present, only 30 per cent of the state population was getting surface water, considered to be the safest source of drinking water. The document stressed the need for increase in the area covered by surface drinking water, at least by another 40 per cent in the next five years, he added.

Noting that about Rs 50,000 crore was needed to provide surface water, the Minister said that arranging such huge amount of funds would not be a problem for the state as the Union government had earmarked funds for the purpose.

Kids and safe water...

Kids hate traffic jams the most-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India
he nation's IT capital could be hip and happening for tourists but civic issues seem to be troubling its children. The Children's
Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA) conducted a survey on how child-friendly Bangalore is. The study released on Thursday show 66% of children in the city feel unsafe to go out alone.

Among other things, the most common problems they listed were regarding safe drinking water for all, good roads, power cuts and a cleaner environment. The study focussed on private school students and government school students separately and revealed they have different perceptions of the city.

It was conducted in October and November 2008 and around 4,000 children between 13 to 15 years were the respondents. About 90% students of government schools and 57% from private schools love the city because of opportunities to study and variety of schools and colleges here. However, 8% government-school children like Bangalore for its malls and theatres as compared to 39% of private school students. Topping the hate list for 73% of private school kids were Bangalore's roads and traffic jams. And, 78% of government school children identified lack of safe drinking water supply as an issue as compared to 45% of private school children. Among other interesting revelations and discrepancies between experiences of private and government school students, power shortage, bad behaviour on buses and many government school students walking to schools were identified as important issues.

State chief secretary Sudhakar Rao said: "I represent the state government so I'll ensure that all your findings will reach the respective departments. These are the same problems that adults also face every day. So smile and take it easy. My wish-list to the CM is the same as yours," he said. Though he did not focus on any specifics, he said measures are being taken like using technology in traffic management
, increase in traffic personnel, pushing for power conservation and supply of CNG by 2011.

Rs 1,500-cr WB aid sought for drinking water projects

Rs 1,500-cr WB aid sought for drinking water projects
The Karnataka cabinet today decided to seek Rs 1,500 crore as financial assistance from the World Bank to implement drinking water projects in the state. The Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB) had asked the government for funds to implement drinking water projects to supply water to 15 districts affected by high fluoride and nitrite content.

Briefing reporters after the cabinet meeting, Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Shobha Karandlaje, said, “The loan assistance is for a period of five years. This loan will ensure relief to about 1,370 villages in 15 districts of the state.”

The districts to be included under the water supply schemes are Bangalore Rural, Mysore, Tumkur, Bellary, Chitradurga, Hassan, Kolar, Chikballapur, Ramanagar, Mandya, Raichur, Koppal, Gulbarga and Davanagere. (snip)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Biotech major Biocon alleged of ground water pollution

Biotech major Biocon alleged of ground water pollution
India's biotechnology leader Biocon is caught up in a controversy.

Villagers allege the company has polluted air and ground water in the Hebbagodi region, where the company's factory is located. In fact they took out a protest march.

Angry villagers protested Biocon factory in Hebbagodi. Among them was K M Muniratnam, a handicapped fisherman.

Muniratnam says he has sustained huge losses over the last 3 years, as the fish he rears in these lakes are dying due to chemical effluents from the factory.

“I've taken the licence to fish in two lakes here, but there have been at least six occasions when the fish have died. The company told me they'll pay compensation, but I haven’t seen anything.” said Muniratnam.

Hebbagodi residents say they've complained about the contamination before, but no one took notice.

A government analysis last year too shows industrial discharge is harming water quality. So even the local MLA A Narayanswamy, from the ruling BJP, joined in the protest.

President, Hebbagodi Residents' Association Sadashiva Reddy says, “People are suffering from skin diseases, headaches, kidney problems. We have all documentary evidence for that.”

A government assurance to start river water supply to these areas within a month got protestors to put off their strike. But they've threatened to launch an indefinite fast next month.

Meanwhile, company officials say they're being unfairly blamed.

COO, Biocon Arun Chandavarkar say, “What we'd like to emphasise is, Biocon is in no way connected to quality of water. Bad smell has been a problem earlier but now, over last two years, we've taken many steps to reduce the odour.

Water contamination has been a matter of concern for a few years now, but this is the first time protests have spilled on to the streets.

While government intervention has brought about a temporary reprieve, protestors say that's not the end of the story, unless they see change on the ground.

No water supply tomorrow, day after-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India

No water supply tomorrow, day after-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India
Several parts of the city will go without water on Thursday and Friday due to emergency maintenance work at pumping
stations of Cauvery 1st and 4th Stages at T K halli. BWSSB officials said normal supply will be resumed by Friday evening.

"We can't specify the exact number of hours because restoration depends on many factors. Water in the city is pumped against gravity and it will take some time even after the work is over to have the supply in place,'' a BWSSB official said.


East division: Ulsoor, Indiranagar, Jeevan Beema Nagar, HAL 2nd Stage, HSR Layout and surrounding areas.

South division: BTM 1st and 2nd Stage, Kathriguppe, Kumaraswamy Layout, J P Nagar and surrounding areas.

Southeast division: Whitefield, Koramangala and surrounding areas.

West division: Chandra Layout, Vijayanagar, Nandini Layout, Mahalakshmi Layout, Nagarbhavi, Peenya and surrounding areas.

North division: Yelahanka and surrounding areas.

Jusco bags Rs 152-cr water supply project in Karnataka

Jusco bags Rs 152-cr water supply project in Karnataka - The Financial Express
Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Company Ltd (Jusco), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Steel, has bagged the Rs 152-crore worth 6-year performance based water management contract for Mysore city in Karnataka.

Jusco entered into the tripartite contract agreement with Mysore City Corporation (MCC) and Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB). This is the largest water supply project being executed through Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in the country.

All similar water supply projects undertaken till date have been pilot projects targeting part of the city (population of less than one lakh), whereas this is the first city-wide project, which will serve population of more than a million.

The project will enable equitable distribution of Cauvery water treated at Hongalli and Melapur treatment plants to the consumers through a network of about 1,200 km from 28 small and large reservoirs, gradually increasing the hours of supply to 24 hours a day with service level guarantees commensurate with national and international benchmarks as stipulated in the contract agreement.

KUWSDB and MCC had bid out this project in March earlier this year. Jusco won this project against stiff national and international competition from Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Jain Irrigation Projects and the Joint Venture of Ranhill Utilities Berhad, Malaysia and SPML.

The project will utilise the already sanctioned Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) funds (80% of the project cost) for improving the water supply infrastructure in Mysore city. The balance funding would be provided equally by the state government and MCC. The project will be completed in three phases. The first phase of 12 months will involve complete hydraulic remodeling of the present system and preparation of capital investment plan. In second phase, Jusco will rehabilitate the distribution network to reduce water losses and gradually increase various service standards.