Thursday, July 23, 2009

Solar power for 4 cities in the state

Solar power for 4 cities in the state: Minister - Mangalore - City - NEWS - The Times of India
The state government has decided to convert three corporations and one city as solar cities, utilizing the assistance provided by the
Centre, said power minister K S Eswarappa.

Talking to media at Shimoga, he said, Bangalore, Mysore and Hubli-Dharwad corporations and Shimoga city municipal council will utilize only solar power
instead of conventional power to run street lights, drinking water supply and for all government buildings' utility.
The project will help to save the demand for conventional power in these four cities and promote the utility of the non-conventional energy. He said the Union government has given its consent to share 40% of total expenditure incurred for implementing this project.

Expressing happiness over the rainfall in the state from the past 10 days, which has raised the water level at reservoirs and has helped to tide over the immediate power crisis, the minister said, as per the Met department, rains during the remaining part of this month will certainly fill the reservoirs to the brim.

With good inflow of water to Almatti Dam, the minister said, power generation has started and the state government has appealed to the Union government to accord its final approval by holding a tripartite talk with Tamil Nadu regarding the permission to start a 270 mw power generation unit at Shivanasamudra.

Report on water, a wake-up call for Karnataka

Report on water, a wake-up call for Karnataka
Report on water, a wake-up call for Karnataka
BS Reporter / Chennai/ Bangalore July 22, 2009, 0:34 IST

Access to water has improved in most parts of the state but a major concern has been the quality of water. Fluoride contamination above the 1.0 parts per million (ppm) government norm has been found in 60 per cent of the cases across the states with 27 of the 28 surveyed districts registering its presence. Nitrate contamination was found in 20 per cent of the samples. Typically, nitrate contamination is from fertiliser runoff and contamination of water supply with human excreta.

These were the findings of Ashwas — A Survey of Household Water and Sanitation, conducted by Arghyam, a Bangalore-based non-governmental organisation to ascertain the status of household water and sanitation from a citizen’s perspective.

Another alarming finding of the survey was that open defecation is rampant with 72 per cent people resorting to open defecation. The survey respondents said that it was a great inconvenience and listed financial constraints and lack of space as the main reason for not building a toilet.

The survey, held over one year, covered 17,200 households across 28 districts of Karnataka and culminated in a detailed report that presents findings from state and district levels.

On the occasion, Karnataka governor H R Bharadwaj, who released the report, said, “The government should accept the results and act accordingly. We have to launch a movement for clean drinking water and the best way to manage it is through the institutions of local self-governance which are the gram panchayats. We must support them and provide them the funding to do their job effectively.”

On the occasion, secretary of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj department, Karnataka, Ravi Kumar said the survey by an independent agency gives the government a different perspective - from the user’s point of view. “The report therefore cannot be brushed away and the government will act on it,” he added.

He said there are about 250,000 rural water supply schemes in the state but due to over-dependence on groundwater there are a lot of problems. About 20,000 habitations have poor water quality. Sanitation performance is unsatisfactory due to the gender gap. Although there is a great need among the women for toilets, the men are the decision-makers. There are also large regional disparities with North Karnataka being in very bad state compared to the rest of the state.

Three corporations and Bangalore as 'solar cities'

Three corporations and Bangalore as 'solar cities' - Bangalore - City - NEWS - The Times of India
The government has decided to convert three corporations and Bangalore as
`solar cities'.

Power minister K S Eswarappa on Tuesday said other than Bangalore, Mysore and Hubli-Dharwad corporations and Shimoga city municipal council will use only solar power to operate street lights, drinking water supply and in government buildings.

The project will help in saving the demand for conventional power in these areas and promote utility of non-conventional energy. Eswarappa said the Union government has agreed to share 40% of total expenditure incurred for implementing the project.

The minister was satisfied with heavy rainfall in the state, which raised water level in reservoirs and helped tide over the immediate power crisis.

With good inflow of water to Almatti dam, power generation is smooth, he added.

Bill on rain water harvesting introduced

Bill on rain water harvesting introduced
Bill on rain water harvesting introduced
Bangalore, dhns:

The State government on Monday introduced the Karnataka Water Supply and Sewerage System (Amendment) Bill, 2009 in the Legislative Assembly, to make rain water harvesting mandatory in Bangalore.

As per the bill, all structures both residential and commercial constructed on 30/40 ft and above dimension plots, should install rain water harvesting system within nine months from the date of the proposed new rules.

World Bank aid to be sought for setting up waste treatment plants

The Hindu : Front Page : World Bank aid to be sought for setting up waste treatment plants
World Bank aid to be sought for setting up waste treatment plants

B.S. Ramesh

Three hospitals in Bangalore to be covered under KHSDRP

State-of-the-art technology to be used

Tenders already invited for the work

File photo: G.P. Sampath Kumar

Looking for change: A large number of people depend on the services provided in government hospitals. —

BANGALORE: Following the Lok Adalat’s directions to the State Government to set up liquid biomedical waste treatment plants in all its hospitals expeditiously, the Government has decided to take up the projects in three hospitals under the World Bank-assisted Karnataka Health Systems Development and Reforms Project (KHSDRP).

The World Bank funding is being sought to help the State Government install liquid biomedical waste treatment plants at three major hospitals in Bangalore. The proposal to seek a World Bank loan comes in the wake of action by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) directing all government hospitals in Bangalore to close down if they do not have such plants. The World Bank has been assisting the State in upgrading all its hospitals for over a decade, and this funding has come in handy, after the Lok Adalat’s directions.

The sources in the State Government told The Hindu that the Government was seeking World Bank assistance for funding treatments plants for K.C. General Hospital, Malleswaram; Jayanagar General Hospital, Jayanagar; and the HSIS Ghosha Hospital in Shivajinagar, under the KHSDRP.
Modern technology

As of now, these three hospitals have effluent treatment plants. These are sought to be replaced by permanent state-of-the-art liquid biomedical waste treatment plants. The designs of these plants have been approved by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). The KSPCB too has looked at the projects and advised the Department of Family Welfare about it.

While the plant to be set up at K.C. General Hospital is expected to cost Rs. 1.42 crore, it is Rs. 1.54 crore for the Jayanagar General Hospital and Rs. 53.10 lakh for the HSIS Ghosha Hospital. Tenders were invited on July 14, 2009, and the construction period is slated to be nine months from the date of issue of work order.

The sources said all the liquid biomedical waste treatment plants were expected to become operational by June 2010. They also said two other hospitals under the jurisdiction of the Health and Family Welfare Department — the TB and CD Hospital at Indiranagar and the Epidemic Diseases Hospital at Indiranagar — were being demolished and new buildings constructed. The new premises would have liquid biomedical waste treatment plants too.

They said that as of now these two hospitals did not have labour rooms or operation theatre facilities. The only source of liquid waste generation was from its laboratories.

Two other hospitals, the General Hospital at K.R. Puram and the General Hospital at Yelahanka, have bed occupancy of less than 40 per cent, and the liquid waste that is generated there is being let into septic tanks.

These tanks have been set up under the guidance of the KSPCB. The liquid waste is let into the tank after being disinfected (by treating it with one per cent hypochlorite solution).

Battles over water turn bitter

Battles over water turn bitter
Battles over water turn bitter
Team DNA / DNA
Monday, July 20, 2009 2:59 IST

New Delhi: Godavari river Andhra Pradeshvs Maharashtra
Dispute: The dispute began after Maharashtra began constructing the Babhali barrage on the Godavari river in Nanded district, just before the river enters AP.
What AP says: There is no formal allocation of the Godavari water. Estimates show that AP normally gets about 1,480 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) of Godavari waters. However, Maharashtra has been working on a string of barrages and dams on the river. The Babhali project on the border of AP and Maharashtra has emerged as a flashpoint.
AP approached the Supreme Court saying the project would damage prospects of AP due to a reduction in water flow. In 2007, the apex court allowed Maharashtra to continue with the project but made it clear that the project approval would be subject to a final verdict and that the state should build any gates to block the water flow. The AP government is now claiming that the Maharashtra government has not begun building the gates, contrary to the court's orders.
What Maharashtra says: Maharashtra says it is making a barrage, not a dam, as per the guidelines of the Central Water Commission, with the aim of providing drinking water to an area of 20 square kilometres in Nanded. The Maharashtra government says it has not built the lower gates, as claimed by AP. It says the barrage will affect only up to 5% of water supply to AP.
Current status: On July 21, the Supreme Court will begin hearing the case. With elections looming in Maharashtra, the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance government is keen to finish the project to showcase it as an achievement.

Palar river, Tamil Nadu vsAndhra Pradesh
Dispute: Unlike the Krishna and Godavari disputes, here Andhra Pradesh stands charged of attempting to cut water flow. Tamil Nadu wants Andhra Pradesh to stop its work on the check dam at Ganeshpuram in Kuppam, saying it will reduce water flow on the Palar.
What TN says: The construction of the Rs55 crore check dam by Andhra near Ganeshpuram across the Palar river will seriously affect drinking water flow to Vellore, Kancheepuram, Tiruvannamalai, Thiruvallur and Chennai districts. Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi has sought the intervention of the central government to prevent AP from taking up any construction activity across Palar.
What AP says: Andhra Pradesh has strongly refuted allegations levelled by Tamil Nadu, saying no such work is currently going on at the site. Andhra Pradesh's major irrigation minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah said that only certain designs related to the dam were prepared so far.
"We have shared the designs with the Tamil Nadu government. We are aware of the inter-state problems involved over the project, but we can say there will not be any loss to Tamil Nadu because of the project," he said.
Current status: The Supreme Court in January 2008 directed the Centre to settle the dispute between the two states amicably. Two months later, the Central Water Commission Chairman convened a meeting of officials from both the states and asked Andhra Pradesh not to implement the project till the issue was settled. On June 24, 2009, at another meeting, the two states were asked to furnish hydrological details. According to TN CM Karunanidhi, Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh clarified therewas no proposal to clear the project.

Krishna river, Andhra Pradesh vs Karnataka
Dispute: Barrages on the river built in Karnataka. The dependable water in the Krishna is about 2,060 tmcft. Karnataka's share is 734 tmcft, Maharashtra's 585 tmcft, and Andhra Pradesh's share is 811 tmcft, under Scheme A, which has been fixed at 75% dependability of water available in tge Krishna basin.
What AP says:Senior AP government officials say the Krishna river in Andhra Pradesh has been facing the problem of less flow, and blame the barrages built on the river in Karnataka for the reduced water flow. Interestingly, the tribunals that had awarded the water shares hadthat Karnataka would get its share of 760 tmcft before releasing any water to Andhra Pradesh. According to a survey by the AP government, there are about 56 such small projects taken up by Karnataka, all without formal approval and contrary to the water sharing agreement. AP has asked the Centre to stop Karnataka from executing Kavalur Barrage, Yadagir Barrage and Sannati Barrage on the Krishna.
What Karnataka says: The Krishna water dispute started because Andhra Pradesh is eager to draw the excess water while Karnataka is yet to build infrastructure to fully utilise its share of the water. Karnataka has also objected against 11 projects by Andhra Pradesh, including the Telugu Ganga, Srisailam Left Bank Canal, Srisailam Right Bank Canal, Bhima Lift Irrigation Project, Pulichintala Irrigation Project, etc, saying these projects allow AP to utilise the extra water. Current status: The states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh are awaiting the setting up of a tribunal to award the water under Scheme B.

Reports from KV Ramana (Hyderabad), Hemanth Kumar (Bangalore), D Ram Raj (Chennai), and Surendra Gangan (Mumbai).

Pollution norms stall home dream

Pollution norms stall home dream
Pollution norms stall home dream

First Published : 20 Jul 2009 06:57:05 AM IST
Last Updated : 20 Jul 2009 03:12:11 PM IST

BANGALORE: The homes are built and the payments have been made.

And yet, the dream home is turning to be elusive for many Bangaloreans.

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has thrown a spanner in their works by withholding the ‘Consent For Operation’ for some of the apartment complexes. The reason is that some builders have failed to show the source of drinking water to those apartments as mentioned by the Board.

Unless the builders get the CFO, the flats cannot be handed over to the buyers.

It is the norm

● According to the prevailing norms, a builder has to obtain a ‘Consent For Establishment’ from the KSPCB at the time of construction if the structure is more than 5,000 sq ft in area.

● A builder should also obtain the CFO and environment clearance after completing the structure if it is more than 20,000 sq ft.

● A builder should establish their own sewage treatment plant, garbage disposal system and the source of drinking water to the apartments if they are more than 25 flats in the apartment complex.

● KSPCB’s norms do not permit the builders to drill bore wells to draw water for these apartments. Therefore, the builders had applied for Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board’s (BWSSB) water supply.

Source of trouble The BWSSB has given a consent to supply drinking water to these apartments in 2012 after the completion of Cauvery Stage IV Phase II if there is sufficient water to supply. Some of the builders have completed their projects according to the prevailing norms, but there is no drinking water supply to these apartments.

Hence KSPCB has denied CFO to these apartments and the builders are not in a position to give possession of these flats to the buyers.

A BWSSB offical said, “We had stated that we would be in a position to supply drinking water to these apartments only in 2012 and not now. They have to wait till then for BWSSB’s water supply.” KSPCB Member Secretary MS Gouder said, “We are not supposed to give CFO to these apartments till they show us the source of drinking water supply. We have to sit with the builders and explore the possibilities of supplying drinking water to these apartments.”

City selected for JNNRUM project - Mangalore

City selected for JNNRUM project - Mangalore - City - NEWS - The Times of India
The MCC will get Rs 2,000 crore additional development grants, thanks to the Centre's decision to select the city for Jawaharlal Nehru National
Urban Renewable Mission (JNNRUM) project.

Mangalore could avail the project as the Centre has amended the project rules. Accordingly, the population limit of the city to be selected for the project was brought down from 10 lakh to 5 lakh. Special development grants will be given for water supply scheme, development of roads, parks, tourist centres, drainage system, bus stations, waste management schemes, city beautification works and housing facilities.

Thanking the Centre for selecting the city for this ambitious project, District Congress Committee (DCC) vice-president Ivan D'Souza said here on Tuesday that party leaders have favoured giving priority for the development of housing sector and water supply scheme in the city.

The City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO) has shown interest to develop the housing sector under this project. It has prepared an action plan that aims at building annual 25,000 houses catering the needs of the people belonged to middle class and downtrodden sections of the society, he said adding that the Mangalore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) that has not been entrusted with any work at present should be the nodal agency for the project, he said.

Twin-cities included in JNNURM programme - Hubli

Twin-cities included in JNNURM programme - Hubli - City - NEWS - The Times of India
Twin-cities included in JNNURM programme
TNN 13 July 2009, 10:36pm IST
Print Email Discuss Bookmark/Share Save Comment Text Size: |
HUBLI: It's a dream come true for the residents of Hubli-Dharwad as the twin-cities found a place in the UPA government's flagship programme of
Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission Union (JNNURM).

The twin-cities had just missed by a whisker to Mysore on the previous occasion. Though it had all requirements to make it to the reforms-linked investment scheme, the Royal City was preferred over Hubli-Dharwad due to its heritage and tourism tag.

Protests and demonstrations had made headlines after the list of cities selected under JNNURM was announced with no mention of the twin-cities. Even there was no dearth for mud-slinging.

MP Prahlad Joshi had held then former chief minister N Dharam Singh responsible for that, saying that he had sent names of more than the required number of cities for inclusion under JNNURM.

Felt let down by the Centre, H D Kumaraswamy government had even made several representations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and urban development minister Jaipal Reddy. Sonia, during a visit to Bangalore, had also promised to include Hubli-Dharwad in JNNURM if the state government sent a proposal.

The campaign, demanding the inclusion of Hubli-Dharwad under JNNURM, received a shot in the arm when some non-resident Indians joined the crusade. Natives of Hubli-Dharwad residing overseas had launched a chain of protests by observing a day-long fast to express their solidarity.

Nagesh Tavarageri, a resident of Cerritos (USA), had initiated an e-movement through a group website through which they sent hundreds of online representations to the President, PM and urban development minister.

District in-charge minister Murugsh Nirani said this will take the twin-cities to newer heights in infrastructure development and in attracting investment. MLC A M Hindasageri and mayor Veeranna Savadi said the twin-cities can now hope for better urban facilities.

What is JNNURM?

It's a central government's initiative aimed at encouraging reforms and fast-track planned development of identified cities. Its objectives include integrated development of infrastructure services, ensuring adequate funds to fulfill deficiencies, planned development of cities, provision of services for the urban poor, redevelopment of old cities and secure effective linkages between assets creation and asset management.

Its components comprise urban renewal, water supply (including desalination and sewerage), solid waste management, storm water drains, urban transport, parking spaces on PPP basis, development of heritage areas, preservation if water bodies among others.

BWSSB takes the reservoir route

BWSSB takes the reservoir route
BWSSB takes the reservoir route

NR Madhusudhan
First Published : 14 Jul 2009 08:03:28 AM IST
Last Updated : 14 Jul 2009 08:57:51 AM IST

BANGALORE: Newly added areas of the city have been deprived of drinking water and most have been waiting for the Cauvery water. However, the Banglore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) seems to have heard their prayers and is planning to go the reservoir way. The BWSSB will construct nine new Ground Level Reservoirs (GLR) at the cost of Rs 46 crore to supply drinking water to the newly added areas of the city.

The new GLRs would be constructed at Hongasandra, B Narayanpura Bande, Coffee Board Layout, MEI Layout, Rajajinagara HBCS near Rajarajeshwari Nagara, Nandini Layout, Syndicate Bank HBCS in Yeshwanthpura Hobali, Nagarabhavi BDA Layout II Stage and at Chennasandra near Mahadevapura.

At present there are 40 GLRs in the different parts of the city and they are used to store and regulate the flow of water to the different parts of the city.

A BWSSB official, under the condition of anonymity said, “The construction of the nine new GLRs will start at the earliest and will be completed before the completion of Cauvery IV Stage II Phase in 2011- 12. At present the BWSSB is not in a position to supply Cauvery water to these regions.”

Present situation

BWSSB is supplying drinking water to some of these areas from its 3,000 borewells and has set up 20 Sodium Hypo-cloride units to purify the water from its borewells.

Some private water suppliers are also active in these areas. The BWSSB is also planning to replace 80 km-long corroded pipes in these areas.


The BWSSB will be allocating the funds from out of the Rs 100 crore sanctioned by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) for different projects to supply drinking water to the city.

The jetting machines that have been procured will be used to clean the under ground drains. BWSSB is also planning to set up ultrafiltration units to filter the water from different lakes. The water filtered in the Ultrafiltration units can be supplied for drinking purposes.

Realty sector: Tangled up in red tape

Realty sector: Tangled up in red tape
Realty sector: Tangled up in red tape

Y Maheswara Reddy
First Published : 11 Jul 2009 09:44:03 AM IST
Last Updated : 11 Jul 2009 09:58:41 AM IST

BANGALORE: While not many builders have plans to announce new housing projects, the irritating, at times unbearable, delay in getting permission from the statutory bodies can bog down the real estate segment which has already received a body blow from the economic slowdown.

Bangalore is a favoured destination for real estate developers but the lengthy procedures often puts them off, given the red tape or corrupt practices that prevail at government offices. Construction of a housing project can begin only when the builders have approvals from all the government bodies. The builders have to take permission from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Airport Authority of India of Bangalore and New Delhi, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company, Bangalore Water Supply & Sewerage Board, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, Fire and Emergency Services (if the proposed building is above 15 meters), Bangalore Development Authority, State Environment Assessment Committee and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike.

The builders are expected to get clearance from each government department within two months but no official cooperates with them. “A builder has to wait for more than a year to get approvals from all these statutory bodies before the start on the construction work,’’ says Suresh Hari, secretary, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of Karnataka.

Normally a builder promises his customers about completing the project within a stipulated time, but most of the builders end up delaying the completion of the project. Consequently customers run down the builders for not honouring the commitment. “The delay in completion of a housing project is certainly an embarrassment for the builder and a loss of face, while completion of a housing project on time adds to the value for the future projects of the builder,’’ says a builder in Malleswaram under the condition of anonymity.

This delay in availing approvals has a huge effect on the project cost if the raw material price has increased during the extended time (the gap between the stipulated time for the completion of the project and the time extended to complete the project due to delay in getting approvals).

“Buyers will have their own problems.

It is not their fault to expect the housing project to be completed on time. But, builders are helpless in most of the instances due to the delay in availing approvals from various government departments,’’ laments another builder.

A few years ago, the state government had announced a single window policy to attract IT majors to Karnataka. Those days the IT companies used to get clearance through the single window system.

Many builders also want the government to introduce the single window system for the real estate sector. “We had already requested the officials concerned to introduce the single window system for the real estate segment. I am not able to understand why the government is not taking a decision,’’ says Hari.

Emphasising the need of the single window system, Bhaskar Reddy , director, Residential Services, Assetz Property, says that the present system in place requires the developer to approach at least six different approving agencies.

“This process roughly consumes about 12-18 months and things become really difficult if one among these agencies decides to play truant,’’ he adds.

The increase in the project cost gets passed on to the buyers. No builder is ready to bear such additional costs.

Amit Bagaharia , chairman & CEO, Asipac Group, opines that speeding up the approval process will help as it lowers the interest cost of developers.“Cities like Pune and Kolkata have a maximum time limit for building plan approvals by these municipal authorities. Bengaluru is supposed to be an efficient and development-friendly city,’’ he put in.

Will the authorities concerned be a bit more proactive towards making things easier for the real estate sector? One can only wait and watch.

Thirsting for Cauvery

Thirsting for Cauvery
Strong urge to drink Cauvery water

Faiza Haneef
First Published : 11 Jul 2009 09:25:42 AM IST
Last Updated : 11 Jul 2009 09:35:49 AM IST

BANGALORE: While the entire country talks about floods and droughts, a part of Bangalore has not received a single drop of the promised Cauvery water. Six years ago, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewarage Board (BWSSB) had promised KR Puram its fair share of water.

Even now, parts of KR Puram are waiting for the promised Cauvery water. These areas do not even get bore water. Several complaints by the residents and assurances by the authorities of Water Board have gone in vain. The residents have paid a heavy deposit of Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 depending on the site area in the 2004 to the water board towards the supply of drinking water.

But till now the money has translated to nothing. “The pipes for the supply of Cauvery water have been laid in several parts of the area but there is no supply of water yet. We have to depend of the water from the private tankers who charge not less than 250 per load which can be adjusted for almost a week,” said M Shivaji Rao, a resident of Rammurthynagar.

Several complaints have been reported to both to the executive engineer concerned and to the Commissioner of BWSSB. “While the sources from the Commissioner’s office have said that the water would be supplied only by 2012, but the engineers from the area office state that the water has already been supplied in these localities,” said Rao. Rao and other residents demand that the BWSSB should make alternate arrangement for the supply of bore water in case the supply of Cauvery water is delayed. With no alternate arrangement, the residents spend Rs 250 to Rs 300 per load. Those who cannot affort this, have to depend on the borewell water which are situated really far.

Speaking to Express, sources from the BWSSB said,”As far as KR Puram is concerned, there is no problem with the supply of water so far and we are supplying Cauvery water to about 72 wards out of 250 wards there. The problem in Rammurthynagar is because there has not been a cent per cent user fee charges and it is only 20 percent people who have paid the amount.

However, we will definetely look into the problem at this particular area and will direct the officials to supply the water on a regular basis.”

A peep into BWSSB’s pipeline plan

A peep into BWSSB’s pipeline plan
A peep into BWSSB’s pipeline plan

N R Madhusudhan
First Published : 09 Jul 2009 07:58:04 AM IST
Last Updated : 09 Jul 2009 08:25:01 AM IST

BANGALORE: Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is all set to lay the biggest water pipline in the country to pump water to the city in Cauvery Water Supply Scheme Stage IV Phase II.

A 3000 mm diameter steel transmission main would be laid from Shiva Balancing Reservoir to Netkal Balancing Reservoir to cater to the water requirements of Cauvery Stage IV Phase I and II.

A separate 2700 mm diameter mild steel pipeline will be laid fromThorekadenahalli (TK Halli) to the bifurcation point at Vajarahalli, 70 km from TK Halli.

A 2200/2000 mm diameter steel pipeline will be laid from Vajarahalli bifurcation point to Gandhi Krushi Vignana Kendra (GKVK) Ground Level Reservoir (GLR) in the Western side of the city and a 1800 mm diameterpipeline will be laid till Jambusavarigudda GLR in the Eastern side of the city. The steel plates required for fabrication of the 2700 mm diameter pipes will be supplied by the BWSSB. BWSSB has awarded a contract to Steel- Authority of India Limited (SAIL) to supply 8,650 mm long, 2,500 mm wide and 18 mm thick steel plates.

SAIL will supply 27,800 such plates to BWSSB at a cost of Rs 363 crore and these plates will be moulded and fabricated into pipes by private contractors.

BWSSB is in the process of awarding contracts to fabricate the steel plates. A BWSSB official on condition of anonymity said that all the water supply components of the Cauvery Water Supply Stage IV Phase II will be commissioned by 2011-12.

River Arkavathy: Engineers at work

River Arkavathy: Engineers at work
River Arkavathy: Engineers at work

Kavitha Kushalappa
First Published : 09 Jul 2009 09:22:18 AM IST
Last Updated : 09 Jul 2009 09:28:44 AM IST

BANGALORE: In what is a definitive measure towards exploring the possibility of the revival of the Arkavathy river, an engineering survey of the river course is learnt to be under way under the aegis of the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam.

The nearly 500 km network of streams, sub-streams and tanks falling between the river’s origin in Nandi Hills and the Hessarghatta Tank marks the first phase of the four-part survey, official sources said. A team of 20 engineers from the Water Resources department have been at work since mid-June, and about 75 km of the river’s network has been covered as of today,they said.

The public outcry for the revival of River Arkavathy which was long the voice of non-governmental bodies, earned the attention of the elected representatives at the state level early this year. A meeting of MLAs from among the assembly segments orginally traversed by Arkavathy in its 190 km lap from Nandi Hills in Doddaballapur to Sangam in Ramanagaram had pushed for a River Arkavathy Revival Authority. In response, the State government provided a budgetary allocation of Rs 2 crore for the preparation of a detailed project report (DPR) on the revival of River Arkavathy.

Aptly then, officials who are part of the just initiated survey told Express that it is too early to talk of revival or recovery of the river. “As per the toposheet (topographic sheet) available with us, the number of the tanks that originally dotted the river from Nandi Hills to Hessarghatta was anywhere between 180 and 220,” an official said. Technically it is a cross-sectional survey -- the width, depth and current of the stream is being assessed at every 300 meters to 500 meters, and the alignment of the course is being mapped, it was explained.

In their first peek at the origin point, the surveyors are reportedly seeing much of everything the activists have always sought to highlight -- afforestation (read eucalyputus here), cultivation of other crops and encroachments by way of construction activity.

While much of the work is being done by the Water Resources Department, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board will pitch in during the survey around the Tippegondanahalli tank area, officials said. “We need about 10weeks to compete the first phase work,” said an engineer noting that much of it depends on weather and site conditions and that conventional electronic equipment is being used in the field survey.

Aakash Ganga: Saving Water for a Rainy Day -

Aakash Ganga: Saving Water for a Rainy Day -
The Ganga (or Ganges) is one of India's mightiest rivers, flowing from the Himalayas in Uttarakhand to the Sunderbans in West Bengal. It is nowhere near the arid northern state of Rajasthan. It is equally remote from Guiyang Municipality in the People's Republic of China. But Aakash Ganga – a rainwater harvesting project that literally means "river from the skies" -- is making a mark in both places.

In Rajasthan, the project -- backed by the World Bank -- has already been implemented in six villages. A letter of intent has now been signed with the state government for its extension to 70 villages, to provide water security to 200,000 people. "Water is the most serious crisis of Independent India," says B.P. Agrawal, the president of Sustainable Innovations (SI) and the moving spirit behind the project. In 2007, he founded SI as a non-profit corporation "to harness innovations for making safe drinking water available to rural villages and for delivery of healthcare to vulnerable populations". (SI has won another World Bank award for its Arogya Ghar -- whole health clinic -- program.)

"A plethora of initiatives (water harvesting, water conservation, soil conservation, etc) exists across India, and many of them are very successful," says S. Vishwanath a civil engineer and urban and regional planner, who runs Rainwater Club, a website dedicated to rainwater harvesting. "One needs to look at these initiatives not only technically but also in terms of water literacy and empowerment. It is about people's understanding of water and how they go ahead to manage it."

Rohini Nilekani, chairperson of Arghyam, a charitable foundation working in the water sector, notes: "We need a multi-pronged strategy to ensure safe, sustainable water for all and for key economic activities. Conservation is an important part of this strategy, as is demand management. There are many and diverse models of conservation and demand management across the country, especially in the drier regions in Western Gujarat and Rajasthan."

Rajasthan was an appropriate choice for Agrawal for several reasons. It was a personal choice because he is a native of that state, but more significantly, Rajasthan is known as the Desert State since it rains only 45 days a year. The state has suffered through 40 droughts in the past 52 years. "It is the driest state in the country having only 1.16% of India's surface water," says Goutam Sadhu, associate professor at the Jaipur-based International Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR). Sadhu is the program director and team leader of the Aakash Ganga project.

"What is the measure of water scarcity?" asks Agrawal, and then answers the question himself: "The number of bachelors in the village." When water is scarce, women have to walk long distances to collect it; as a result, families from other villages are reluctant to marry their daughters into such communities.

Not a Drop to Drink…

The scene is different in China's Guiyang Municipality, where Aakash Ganga is now spreading. "The province is just like Darjeeling -- hilly and green," says Agrawal. "It rains 1,200 mm a year. (In contrast, the rainfall in Rajasthan could be as low as 150 mm.) Yet, there is no drinking water since the hills have been converted over the years into farm land. Pesticides and fertilizers have contaminated the water springs, the main source of drinking water. The contamination is so bad that the spring water is no longer drinkable."

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is supporting an experiment aimed at exploring whether the Aakash Ganga approach can work in Guiyang. In March, the ADB approved a $50,000 pilot project and demonstration activities to "demonstrate the full potential of Aakash Ganga self-sustaining rainwater harvesting". Agrawal, who has just returned from China, says that in some ways things are just the same as in the villages of Rajasthan. "Samu village has an old tree. Locals claim it to be 500 years old. Like in India, they tie colorful scarves to this tree. The villagers pray to this tree for good luck and rains."

At Raila village in Rajasthan, they still pray for rains. But their good luck has already arrived. This was where the first pilot for Aakash Ganga was implemented. The design of the network, filters, construction methodology, water quality monitoring, technology development and the cost and revenue models were worked out at the neighboring campus of the Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) at Pilani. BITS attracted Agrawal because it was from here that he graduated in electrical engineering, before moving on to the University of South Florida to complete his Ph.D. in 1974. Agrawal, a resident of Fairfax (Virginia), has worked with companies such as Alcatel, Verizon, General Dynamics and Hughes Network Systems. He also has two startups to his credit.

Going from starting new ventures for Fortune 500 companies to harvesting rainwater in remote Rajasthan may seem worlds apart, and Agrawal agrees it was a difficult switch. "But all along I felt I needed to do something socially relevant," he says.

In hindsight, harvesting rainwater was an obvious choice. The idea got off the ground in 2003 when the Rajasthan Association of North America, a non-profit organization which aims to promote the culture and development of Rajasthan, hosted the 2003 New York convention of Rajasthan natives. The Aakash Ganga proposal was presented to Ashok Gehlot, then chief minister of the state. With his encouragement, the science behind the scheme was worked out at BITS Pilani. And a support structure was put in place.

The IIHMR, which is already involved in a project styled Aapni Yojana which supplies drinking water to 370 villages in collaboration with the German and Rajasthan governments, looks after Aakash Ganga's implementation in the villages, procurement of materials and government liaisons. The BITS' Center for Development of Desert Technologies leads the engineering team. The Bhoruka Charitable Trust is in charge of community mobilization and micro-financing. And there are several other non-governmental organizations involved. Sustainable Innovations, which gave a formal structure to the endeavor, was formed after these initial moves.

World Bank Award

The big boost to the project came in 2006, when Aakash Ganga won the World Bank's Development Marketplace Award. A $200,000 grant allowed the project to expand operations to other villages. "The Development Marketplace is a competitive grant program of the World Bank that identifies and funds early-stage, innovative ideas that exhibit high potential for development impact," says Sanjay Pradhan, vice-president of the World Bank Institute. "The Aakash Ganga project was selected as one of 30 winning proposals from more than 2,600 applicants for the 2006 competition."

In 2007, the Indian Prime Minister's Office encouraged Sustainable Innovations to submit a plan for implementing Aakash Ganga in the "dark zone" of Rajasthan. (Dark zone status means the groundwater table in the area is significantly below the minimum desired level, and the water quality in the area is substandard.)

Rainwater harvesting, while not technically complicated, needs careful coordination. Essentially, Aakash Ganga channels rooftop rainwater from every house, through gutters and pipes, to a network of multi-tier underground reservoirs. The project has the capacity to collect and store rainwater (with average rainfall) sufficient for an entire year. In terms of organizational structure, this is a public-private-community partnership which acquires rights from homeowners to harvest their rooftop rainwater for a fee or subsidy. The harvested rainwater is supplied to the village according to a socially equitable distribution policy. Part of the water is used for revenue generation and cost recovery.

Each village needs an investment of $100,000. The materials account for 60% to 65% of the total costs and labor expenses constitute 20% to 25%. Some 10% to 15% is absorbed by general and administrative costs. According to the extension proposal, the government will contribute 70% of the funds. The community will pay 15% and the other 15% will be raised from private sources. Revenues will be generated from the fees charged to the villagers for water, and horticulture. These are expected to yield a surplus of $6,000 to $8,000 a year from the third year. "The cost of harvested water is $0.002 a liter, based on 25 years of life," says Agrawal. "By comparison, the lifetime cost of bore-well water is $0.04 a liter."

"Aakash Ganga debunked the myth that people will not pay for water," continues Agrawal. "It weaned people away from the free water entitlement mindset." Says Sadhu of IIHMR: "This is a significant transition from the "water is free" mentality to a "water is an economic good" frame of mind." According to Atul Jain, CEO and founder of the Fairfax-based TEOCO (The Employee Owned Company), which provides software consulting services to the communications and entertainment industry, "Rajasthan had elaborate rainwater harvesting systems for several centuries. These systems were abandoned. BP (Agrawal) researched local folklore to learn the ancient levy system that maintained the rainwater harvesting systems. A modern version of the ancient levy system became the basis of Aakash Ganga's economic model."

Tradition and Technology

While the levy system has its roots in history, the project marries technology to tradition. For instance, satellite images are used to set up a geographical information system. An IT network manages utilization and monitors water quality. (In China, they are planning to use IT for remote monitoring; it will be used to turn water taps on and off for individual houses or a cluster of houses.) Water quality is important, as the experience of Guiyang Municipality shows. "We have considerably improved the access to drinking water across India in terms of quantity," says Nilekani of Arghyam. "The next challenge is to understand and deal with complex emerging quality issues -- fluoride, arsenic, iron and nitrates in addition to bacteriological contamination."

"Before Aakash Ganga, villagers depended solely on the government's water supply schemes which were not adequate in either quality or quantity," says Sadhu of IIHMR. "The fluoride and TDS (total dissolved salts) content were much higher than the tolerance level of WHO (World Health Organization) norms. During the dry season, households have to buy water from water vendors at a cost of $2 per camel cart (which on the average is the minimum daily consumption of a family). With support from Aakash Ganga, families now have a secure supply source of drinking water enough for 10-12 months of the year."

"In term of coverage, the project is an enormous success, surpassing its planned objectives by almost doubling the number of houses included in the rainwater harvesting plan," says Pradhan of the World Bank. "A total of 119 household tanks were constructed in three villages in the Alwar district in Rajasthan and an intermediate tank and a recharge well were built. The network stores rainwater sufficient to meet the drinking water needs of these villages. In broader terms, the project demonstrates an alternative to the typically inefficient and poor performing public works projects."

Impact on Communities

Agrawal believes that the project has made a bigger contribution than just provision of drinking water. "Aakash Ganga has gone beyond meeting this basic need," says India Abroad, a New York-based publication. "Reports from all three villages where Aakash Ganga was (first) implemented suggest that women have become economically more productive and girls have attended more classes as they now no longer have to spend a lot of time collecting water," says Sadhu of IIHMR. "Almost all households with rainwater tanks have established kitchen gardens which in turn will improve household nutrition and health conditions."

"As a community-driven initiative, the project was very careful in its design to develop a scheme that was culturally appropriate and attentive to important issues surrounding social caste, class and gender," says Pradhan of the World Bank. "In that regard the project rates very well given that many other schemes disproportionately benefit upper class beneficiaries."

Change has happened at several levels. What makes Agrawal proud, however, is that people of different castes are all participating in the rainwater harvesting scheme and the pooling of water resources. In some parts of India, different castes do not even drink water from the same well. "The qualitative measures are more expressive of Aakash Ganga's social impact and success," says Agrawal. Vishwanath of the Rainwater Club has a problem here. "I have some reservations about the notion of centralizing water management," he says. "Traditionally people have been managing their own water and it is good to empower people to do their own water harvesting." But he agrees that the problem has to be approached in multiple ways. "Water conservation alone is not the issue," he says. "It is also about demand reduction, water reuse and recycling. It has to be a combination of all these three. And this is absolutely vital because of the sheer growth of the economy and the population."

Aakash Ganga's next challenge is to prove that it is scaleable. This is why the China experiment is so important. There are plans to explore the potential of sites in South Asia. But India will remain the focus of attention. "We have several initiatives at various stages with organizations such as HSBC, the Royal Bank of Canada, Google Foundation, Gates Foundation, Coca-Cola Foundation, and PepsiCo Foundation," says Sadhu of IIHMR. "If one or more work out, the projects will be implemented in Rajasthan with the same partners and the same approach."

"The entire world has become aware of the shortage of fresh water in some countries and regions," notes Sadhu. "These include India, with 16% of humanity but less than 3% of global fresh water resources. The poor water availability is exacerbated by its uneven spread over regions and time of the year. Rajasthan is very much at a disadvantage even in the Indian context.

"Demand for domestic water use will increase continuously with the growth in population and greater attention to hygienic and sanitary requirements. A special feature in Rajasthan is its large livestock population, which will also increase over a period of time. It has had, and will continue to have, substantial claims on available water supply, between a quarter and a third of the demand for human consumption. Presently, irrigation accounts for the lion's share of the demand for water. In the foreseeable future, however, demand for water for other uses (industry, tourism, and recreational and environmental purposes), which is currently about 3% of total water use, is also likely to increase along with that for human and livestock consumption," says Sadhu.

Aakash Ganga may be a success, but it is really a drop in the ocean. India's water problems are huge. According to Nilekani of Arghyam, "Per capita availability of fresh water continues to decline in the country. Many challenges remain, given the changing nature of the water situation, what with climate change-related issues, our economic growth, urbanization and the need to have food security over the next three decades for up to 1.5 billion people. We need to deepen an informed public discourse on these issues because, whether we like it or not, the situation calls for restraint on water use in the face of competing claims for a finite resource. We need perhaps to be guided by a water ethic to which we can all move, from which will derive improved policies and practices that take care not just of human needs, but also that of other living beings and of course the environmental systems which support life. This means clear prioritization across sectors and sophisticated water siting plans. Should one locate a new international airport in a dark water zone as Bengaluru (Bangalore) has done? Should one allow new mining leases where there is a precarious water balance? These are the tough questions we have to answer as a society.

"We also need to understand groundwater issues in this country, which remain little understood and ineffectively backed in the regulatory sense. More than 60% of our agriculture runs on the 20 million bore-wells around the country, in spite of the vast surface irrigation network we have created. If we manage this groundwater scientifically and with a spirit of accommodation, it will provide us a vast reservoir to bank upon during lean monsoons.

"There are solutions, of course and they have been demonstrated. Rainwater harvesting is key, when done properly," Nilekani says. Agrawal, for one, is confident he can take rural India places under the Aakash Ganga umbrella.

Real issues lost in verbal assault

Real issues lost in verbal assault - Bangalore - City - NEWS - The Times of India
Leaking pipes, dug-up roads and civic infrastructure in terrible shape. Residents of Agrahara Dasarahalli are upset that
when these issues need to be tackled urgently, the alleged slapping of BBMP assistant engineer A N Somraj by housing and muzrai minister V Somanna has become the dominant issue.

Long-time residents are now tired of complaining, stoically putting up with the shoddy progress of work by both BBMP and BWSSB.

Procedural delays and stagnant works have irked them enough. Over the past three days, there's been some some progress in a few works. But, what they want is sustained progress.

"The pace of work has picked up suddenly but we worry about the quality. They broke the sanitary lines on Tuesday and cut a few cables too. We just hope they fix them in time,'' say residents in apartments along a stretch of the Dasarahalli Cross Road. They've also been waiting for drinking water supply for almost eight years. Many have even paid for connections.

Further down the road, the cluttered BRI Colony have regular water supply but their main problem is the crude approach road -- rugged and stony and hasn't seen a coat of tar for almost a decade. "I last saw it black and asphalted when I got married and moved in here -- that was 10 years ago. Nothing happened here after that,'' says a homemaker. Residents here say the road was dug up two years ago for the laying of sanitary lines and then covered with stones. "We're still waiting to see a proper road being laid,'' they say.

This colony is on the way to the BBMP ward health centre. While an apartment en route to the BBMP ward AE office has a broken sewer line by the roadside and not fixed for over a month, the road just in front of the office has an abandoned dug-up stretch with pipes waiting to be laid.


* Cluttered slums despite regular water supply have no proper access roads

* Bigger settlements have good access roads which are repeatedly tarred and dug up to lay water pipes but no drinking water supply for years now

* Sources say BBMP assistant engineer Somraj was transferred to Ward 21 (Dasarahalli industrial area) on Somanna's recommendation a year ago. He was earlier posted at RPC Layout in Vijayanagar

Monsoon session of legislature likely to be a stormy affair

The Hindu : Front Page : Monsoon session of legislature likely to be a stormy affair
Monsoon session of legislature likely to be a stormy affair

Nagesh Prabhu

Opposition expected to haul the Government over the coals on a variety of issues

House business: A file photo of the Legislative Assembly in session.

BANGALORE: The 12-day monsoon session of the Karnataka Legislature, beginning on Thursday, is expected to be a stormy affair with the Opposition planning to haul the Bharatiya Janata Party Government over the coals on a gamut of issues, including the recent communal clashes in Mysore, withdrawal of criminal cases against the Reddy brothers, and the controversial circular issued by the Government directing officials against attending meetings convened by leaders of the Opposition in both Houses.

The other major issues are the delay in holding Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) elections, the precarious power situation, the Chintana-Manthana held at a luxury resort, and implementation of welfare schemes announced in the last budget.

The session, however, will enable the Chief Minister, who holds the Finance portfolio, to get the legislature’s sanction for the demands for grants pertaining to various departments and obtain approval for the Appropriation Bill, as the State’s budget proposals for 2009-10 presented in February had only sought a vote-on-account for the four-month period ending in July.

If the ruling party is likely to face embarrassment over internal dissidence, with senior Cabinet Minister K.S. Eshwarappa, who holds the Energy portfolio, and several other Ministers such as the Bellary mining lords — Minister for Tourism and Infrastructure G. Janardhan Reddy, Minister for Revenue G. Karunakara Reddy and Minister for Health B. Sriramulu — openly raising the banner of revolt against the Chief Minister during the first anniversary celebrations, the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) will also have to contend with their share of changes.

The former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, will undoubtedly try to show the Yeddyurappa Government in poor light.

A seasoned parliamentarian with a record of presenting budgets for several years during his tenure as Finance Minister in the previous Janata Dal regimes, Mr. Siddaramaiah is expected to put the treasury benches on the spot by raising several issues and the Government’s failures in fiscal management.
Change of guard

The Janata Dal (Secular) too has seen a change of guard with the former Public Works and Energy Minister H.D. Revanna taking over from his brother and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy as the party’s legislature wing leader.

Incidentally, the Assembly will miss M. Mallikarjun Kharge, former Leader of the Opposition who is the Union Minister for Labour and Employment. Mr. Kharge had served as a member for over three decades and regularly attended the legislature sessions. The recent Ordinance on increasing the number of wards in the BBMP from 147 to 198 was sharply criticised by the Opposition parties as a ruse to delay the BBMP polls pending for almost three years now.

The session will debate 18 Bills. Of these, 10 are those that have already been introduced in the legislature, while two bills will come up for re-consideration.

The new bills are: Karnataka Samskrita Veda Vishwavidyalaya Bill, 2009; Karnataka Rajya Sangeeta Mattu Pradarshaka Kalegala Vishwavidyalaya Bill, 2009; Karnataka Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2009; Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage (Amendment) Bill, 2009; Karnataka Civil Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2009; and Karnataka Khadi and Village Industries (Amendment) Bill, 2009.

Leader of the Opposition in the Council V.S. Ugrappa is expected to seek an explanation from the Government on discrepancies in identification of BPL families and transfer of officials.

The recent episode of Minister for Housing and Muzrai V. Somanna allegedly assaulting an official and the allegations levelled by Mr. Eshwarappa over the distribution of money and liquor during the Lok Sabha polls may also figure in the discussions during the session.

Decade-old Water Act yet to evolve

Decade-old Water Act yet to evolve
Decade-old Water Act yet to evolve

NR Madhusudhan
First Published : 09 Jul 2009 08:02:15 AM IST
Last Updated :

BANGALORE: Though the state government had enacted the Karnataka Ground Water Act ten years ago to protect the sources of public drinking water, it is yet to be implemented by the government authorities concerned.

In accordance with the government’s responsibility to provide safe drinking water and safeguarding the sources of drinking water, the state government had enacted the Karnataka Ground Water Act in 1999.

The act came to be known as Karnataka Ground Water (Regulation for Protection of Sources of Drinking Water) Act, 1999.

According to provisions of the Act, no person is supposed to sink any well for extracting or drawing water within 500 metres of the source of public drinking water without obtaining permission from the appropriate authority.

The appropriate authority may, on the advice of the technical officer, grant permission in writing for the sinking of a well or reject the application after considering the drinking water needs of the general public in the area.

However, the Act permits the government or local authority to dig a well to serve as a public drinking water source.

The appropriate authority means the Deputy Commissioner (DC) or any officer, not below the rank of an Assistant Commissioner, appointed by the government and the technical officer is an officer of the Department of Mines and Geology, Government of Karnataka, who is not below the rank of a geologist.

There are many Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board sunk bore-wells, especially on the outskirts of the city.

Yet, people are sinking their own borewells without obtaining the DC’s permission.

Regarding the implementation of the Act, the Bangalore Urban Deputy Commissioner G N Nayak said, “We will consider the application if anybody applies for sinking a well within the prohibited area and take legal action against those who have violated the Act by sinking their own wells near the public drinking water source.” Sources in the Mines and Geology Department said the deputy commissioner's office has not sought the opinion of their officers regarding sinking of wells near the public drinking water sources till date.


BBMP yet to begin City development

BBMP yet to begin City development
BBMP yet to begin City development
Sandeep Moudgal,DH News Service,Bangalore:

Infrastructure definitely got a big boost - at least on paper - with the Union Budget indicating the availability of a whopping Rs 1,00,000 crore for speeding up infrastructure projects across the country.

Yet, the progress of the development works in Bangalore doesn’t show any sign of urgency.

Here’s why: Since April 2009, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has completed only 15 per cent of the ‘small works’ allotted to it as part of its task of developing 12 of the City’s 28 Assembly constituencies.

On the other hand, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), responsible for the small and medium works for the remaining 16 constituencies, is yet to call for

“The tender process was delayed due to the recently concluded Parliamentary elections,” said a Palike official.

It is learnt that the newly appointed BBMP Commissioner, Bharat Lal Meena has now directed the officials to call for tenders and disburse works within two months.

According to the State Budget allocations, the Palike has Rs 6 crore earmarked for each ward. The works include maintenance of roads, footpath, street lights, parks, storm drains and other immediate issues that need to be addressed.

The budgetary allocation made to the BBMP for these works is Rs 300 crore. “With most of the areas already developed, the allocations are justified for the maintenance to be carried,” said the Palike official.

No consolidated list

However, the Palike does not have a consolidated list of small works to be carried out in the 16 constituencies in Bangalore.

The Bangalore Development Authority was allotted Rs 626 crore in the State Budget to assist the Palike in maintaining the City.

While most constituencies allocated to it for development are relatively less developed -which explains the higher budgetary allocation, the work progress is slow.

1,554 works

In all, the Bangalore Development Authority is entrusted with 1,554 works. “Since the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is yet to complete certain works, we are unable to progress with nearly 398 works in these constituencies,” explained a Bangalore Development Authorityofficial.

A total of 985 allotted works worth Rs 418.31 crore have already begun, accounting for the 15 per cent progress till date. “We will be able to complete the works by end of July,” said a confident Bangalore Development Authority official.

Water Project: K'tka gets Rs. 1000cr WB loan

Mangalorean.Com- Serving Mangaloreans Around The World!
Karnataka's Minister for Rural Development Shobha Karandlaje on Thursday met the World Bank officials in Washington in the US and successfully managed to get Rs. 1,000 crore loan from the bank for the second phase of the Jal Nirmal Project.

The first phase of the Rs. 929.67-crore Jal Nirmal Project has significantly improved rural communities access to potable drinking water and sanitation services in 11 districts of north Karnataka. It has reduced, by nearly 50 per cent, waterborne diseases in select villages.

WB discussion about rural funds

Mr. Shobha Karandlaje held detailed discussions with the World Bank officials and convinced the Bank about the governments commitment to implement the project in drought-prone areas of 15 districts in the second phase.

The Rural Development department secretary Sridhar and other officials attended the meeting along with the minister.

The first phase of the project, which was launched in April, 2002, after initial delays, has covered 3,064 habitations of 744 gram panchayats in the rain-fed and arid districts of Bidar, Gulbarga, Raichur, Bijapur, Bagalkot, Koppal, Gadag, Haveri, Belguam, Dharwad and Uttara Kannada. The International Development Association (IDA), the soft arm of the World Bank, has granted credit of Rs. 728.57 crore to the project.

As many as 1,935 drinking water supply schemes and 1,069 road and drain works have been implemented by spending Rs. 587.68 crore as on June, 2007. With the execution of the schemes, the availability of drinking water in the villages has been enhanced from 30 litres per capita per day (LPCD) to 55 LPCD in the five-year period. Besides village sanitation, JNP has improved sanitation facilities in 2,000 primary and higher primary schools.

The installation of disinfection units in water tanks, adoption of quality parameters and introduction of dual system water supplies (for drinking and other purposes) has reduced waterborne diseases in habitations by nearly 50 per cent. The village water sanitation committees (VWSCs) have been given water quality testing kits to check drinking water quality regularly.

The implementation of multi-village water supply schemes for tapping water from streams in Belgaum, Bijapur and Haveri districts increased LPCD from 30 to 70. Each scheme covers five or six panchayats and its cost ranges from Rs. 7 crore to Rs. 25 crore. Retired engineers have been appointed as consultants for inspection of quality. They have to submit reports to the Karnataka Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, the nodal agency executing the project.

The JNP has become a model project for States such as Orissa, Maharashtra, Uttaranchal and Punjab, officials said.

Friday, July 3, 2009

District, taluk-level hospitals lack basic facilities

District, taluk-level hospitals lack basic facilities
District, taluk-level hospitals lack basic facilities

The wards of KR Puram General Hospital lie empty as none prefers to come here for treatment owing to lack of facilities
Express Features
First Published : 01 Jul 2009 08:26:30 AM IST
Last Updated : 01 Jul 2009 11:58:39 AM IST

BANGALORE: Merely introducing new schemes or delivering sugarcoated speeches that make big promises will not help improve services at city-based district or taluk-level hospitals. These hospitals are paralysed by severe infrastructure deficiency, staff crunch and dearth of basic healthcare facilities.

Unless the health and family welfare department decides to take a closer look at the district and taluk-level general hospitals, which are the only hope for the poor and middle class citizen, there is no hope for them.

Expresso visited some such hospitals to take a closer look. The health and family welfare department comprises more than 30 primary health centres, three taluka-level general hospital in Yalenka, Anekal, KR Puram and three major hospitals in Bangalore urban.

Taluk-level hospitals

All the taluka-level general hospitals in Yelahanka, Anekal, KR Puram comprises 100 beds which receive around 300 to 500 patients every day. Interestingly, the prevalence of the ten plus one system shows that in these hospitals, if one case is attended by a number of doctors, the other is deprived of any access.

Each specialty has one doctor in these hospitals. According to the doctors here, 25-30 gynecology cases are received every day and more than 120 deliveries are done a month. But there is only a single gynecologist post in these hospitals.

“If the gynaecologist works round the clock, he/she is not able to attend her duty the next day or if he/she is case of leave, most of the cases are sent back.

There is a dire need of gynecologists in the taluk-level hospitals as it is not possible for a single doctor’s find it difficult to handle the work pressure. The health and family welfare department should contemplate increasing the number of posts at least to two or three,” said Dr Murlidhar, senior specialist at General Hospital.

The Perumal health secretary said, “Filling of the sanctioned post is in the pipeline. The department has also requested the chief minister to expedite the procedure.” On being asked about the other basic infrastructural facilities, he added, “The allocation of fund is very less the department.” Most of the offices of the health department are affected by the irregular power supply, so much so that even doctors in the operation theatre have to stop the operating midway. “The irregular power supply has become common phenomenon these days. We have only one generator but frequent power cuts have made the lives miserable especially the patients in the operation theatre. We literally have to stop the operation when the diesel gets over,” he aded. These hospitals are also facing acute water shortage.

Even if the staff needs some repair work to be done in the hospital, the PWD department takes at least six to eight months to complete it. Such work environment tell negatively on the doctors.

Currently, there are no blood banks in these hospitals and there is only one ambulance.

If these hospitals refer emergency labour cases to Vani Vilas Hospital, it usually takes at least two hours to for the ambulance to reach there. If other cases come up in between, the ambulance is unavailable.

District level hospitals

Recently the Gousha Hosptial, one of the major district hospitals under the health and welfare department, made news. The surprise visit of health department officials opened a can of worms. It was found that drugs and syringes in is stock had crossed expiry dates, an ECG machine was missing, and there were several complaints about doctors and paramedical staff who demanded money from patients for medical services.

The health department has issued suspension orders to medical staff and the senior specialist of the hospital. The other district general hospitals located in Malleswaram and Jayanagar lack proper sanitation, drugs and water supply.


Lack of monitoring mechanism

Though the health and family welfare department has launched in-sourcing of the specialists scheme under National Rural Health Mission, wherein the hospital can seek help of private hospitals for life-saving anestheasists and emergency maternal obstretician care at the time of surgery, owing to the lack of basic infrastructure, the doctors are not usually keen on service in general hospitals.

A senior health official in the department stated that there is a lack of proper marketing of these schemes in the hospitals.

Absence of HR management

There is no accountability of the doctors on duty. Sometimes the patients are left unattended.

A senior official on condition of anonymity told Expresso that there are doctors who have gone abroad for advanced studies but the attendance register does not have any record of their absenteeism.

Hence, they are getting salaries from the department without rendering services.

No objections to new constructions

No objections to new constructions
No objections to new constructions
Sandeep Moudgal, Bangalore, DH News Service:

Even as thousands of families in Bangalore await the completion of the Cauvery-IV stage water supply scheme, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is nonetheless handing out No Objection Certificates for new constructions in the City at a fee of Rs 10 per square feet.

Baffling as it may seem, the new constructions are given clearance by the BWSSB in the city and Gram Panchayats outside the purview of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

“A minimum of Rs 1.5 lakh is charged for any apartment as a fee for the NOC in the City,” said a BWSSB official. Since 2006, over 1,000 projects have been given permission to begin construction in Bangalore based on the assurance that the water under the Cauvery IV stage scheme will reach them by 2011-12. The BWSSB in these cases have been awarding the NOCs with a clause that water supply to these new apartments ‘subject to availability of water’.


Relying on these NOCs, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) have also been giving the green signal for such constructions.

“With permission not available to draw ground water in the City, we have to rely upon the no-objection certificate given by the BWSSB for giving permission to new constructions in the City,” said a KSPCB official.

According to the amendment to the Environmental Impact Assessment Act of 1994, new constructions above 10,000 sq meters have to get a clearance from the KSPCB.

Citing the troubles of finding potable water, the water tanker cartels have utilised the loopholes in the Government orders of drawing potable water.

“With no requirement of a clearance from us (KSPCB) on a single-storeyed dwelling or a house in 30x40 sites, there are evidences of people drawing water from these locations and supplying them to nearby high rise buildings,” said the official.

According to the rules, there is no requirement of a licence to draw ground water in locations which are below 50 apartments and hence do, not fall under the pollution control board purview.

Untapping the resources- Hindustan Times

Untapping the resources- Hindustan Times

B.G. Verghese
June 30, 2009
First Published: 21:44 IST(30/6/2009)
Last Updated: 01:52 IST(1/7/2009)

It was once said that Indian agriculture was a gamble in the monsoon. That was when traditional agriculture was practised and, with limited irrigation, was monsoon-dependent. With the growth of irrigation and new crop varieties and technologies, Indian agriculture appeared to be reasonably drought-proof. The gamble has returned with climate change — a long-term secular change in rainfall patterns going beyond the shorter term hydrological cycles with which we have long been familiar.

The south-west and north-east precipitation bring rain and floods from excess run-off, part of which is trapped in underground aquifers and more of which can be stored through induced recharge and rainwater and rooftop harvesting, watershed management and storages ranging from ponds and bandhs to larger storages behind multi-purpose dams. The winter westerlies bring snow to the northern latitudes and serve as a savings deposit with a delayed discharge of snow and glacial melt with rising temperatures through the spring and summer. This is the new hydrological cycle affected by global warming and climate change that we must learn to live with and manage.

Most storages, the Bhakra-Pong, for example, are depleted in relation to annual averages and there has been less snowmelt. Glacier recession in the Himalayas and the Karakoram implies higher glacial melt that will provide short-term well-being after which summer discharges will drop significantly. Lower run-off and diminished storages also entail loss of hydropower that could otherwise be used to lift groundwater, where available, and for industrial and cooling purposes.

India is a wasteful user of water and energy, with foolish politicians encouraging waste and misuse through free or concessional water to the ‘poor’ (which seldom reaches them). This has invariably resulted in poor or no maintenance resulting in asset deterioration. The government has followed a strategy of supply augmentation (necessary in a rapidly expanding economy) while ignoring the related and supremely important strategy of conservation through demand management. The country boasts some fine irrigation and power engineers, but they are trained and devote most of their attention to supply augmentation, whereas ‘supply’ could perhaps be augmented by as much as a third or more at a mere fraction of the cost by suitable demand management, more appropriate cropping patterns and pricing policies, better use of better technology (drip, sprinkler, recycling, improved maintenance, more efficient lighting systems), and superior regulatory mechanisms that are not handicapped by political interference.

The problems in Punjab and Haryana and the Cauveri basin largely stem from these factors, especially insistence on the paddy-wheat-sugarcane cycle rather than crop diversification, and antique systems of flood irrigation in the Tanjore delta. The argument about big and small dams, raindrop harvesting and surface and groundwater storage, especially large dams, is misplaced and often ideological. Each has its place in an ascending hierarchy. Large storages with huge catchments and commands provide a degree of insurance and carry-over benefits that micro- and mini-schemes simply do not provide. They have all to be worked in tandem through public-private partnerships. If farmers or consumers have ownership of a water supply scheme, or any segment of it, they will ensure efficient management, policing, maintenance and collection of service charges. Hence the importance of participatory irrigation management, which is evident in groundwater schemes.

Aberrant weather must be expected with climate change, with episodic cloudbursts such as those that drowned Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai some years ago and caused drought in Assam and the Northeast in some of the historically wettest regions in the world. In this situation, the rainfall must be captured when and where it falls, with destructive flood ‘surpluses’ caught behind dams. Further, given spatial and seasonal variations in rainfall patterns, water can and must be moved from ‘surplus’ to ‘deficit’ regions over time and space. This is what storage irrigation does, augmented by inter-basin and trans-basin transfers, a hoary practice in India and around the world. This is how the unimaginatively named Inter-Linking of Rivers (ILR) proposal was conceptualised, but never envisaged as a single mammoth ‘project’ except by uninformed politicians, judges and critics who combined to conjure up a myth that did no service to the basic idea. ILR survives and, apart from the Ken-Betwa link, two other west coast northward trans-basin diversions in Gujarat are under study.

Since rivers flow across national and internal political boundaries, they must be seen and planned in terms of natural resource regions. The Constitution provides for river basin authorities. But these have never been pursued on account of parochial political feuding, often resulting in wasteful schemes being taken up to pre-empt any raid on alleged surpluses. One brave effort, the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), was killed by West Bengal within less than a decade of its launch. Maybe the institution of water markets (with independent regulators to oversee suitable safeguards for weaker players) and water parliaments (that bring together upper and lower riparians across river basins with statutory safeguards) could provide answers.

International rivers (the Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra-Meghna systems) can also only be developed optimally through regional cooperation. Here, new strategies must be devised, including joint management and operation of sensitive projects. The Tipaimukh multi-purpose project in Manipur, which could immensely benefit Bangladesh too, suggests itself as a good candidate. The scare about Chinese plans to divert the Brahmaputra northwards is a piece of uninformed nonsense. More to the point, the Indian government should urge Pakistan to move forward on Indus II, providing for joint exploration, construction, operation and management of the Upper Indus basin on both sides of the Line of Control to ward off the common peril of climate change.

Meanwhile, if the delayed rains spread this week as expected and the country gets 85-95 per cent of July-September rainfall, drought can be averted with alternative cropping patterns and staggered load-shedding. Advancing the clock by 60-90 minutes for daylight saving could yield some dividends too while an expanded National Rural Employment Guarantee Act could stave off hunger and help build farm capital assets. Finally, long-term water management dictates a restructuring of the Ministry of Water Resources, the Central Water Commission and related agencies that are old fashioned supply-side organisations that lack the inter-disciplinary competence required to manage India’s water future.

B.G. Verghese is a Visiting Professor, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Residents frown on random power cuts - Bangalore - Cities - The Times of India

Residents frown on random power cuts - Bangalore - Cities - The Times of India
Frequent and long power cuts have made life miserable for residents, but they seem to realize that less rainfall is to be
blamed. Their only complaints: why didn't the government anticipate the situation, and why are the power cuts unscheduled?

Most localities in the city are shrouded by dark streets for hours on end. What's worse is that water supply has also been affected.

The situation in Basaveshwaranagar is grim. "There is power cut almost every other hour. Most localities don't have power for 8 to 16 hours a day. We understand they could be doing this in anticipation of monsoon failure, but the energy minister says there are technical problems. The Met department says monsoon has been delayed this year. We can manage with scheduled power cuts, but what's happening is unreasonable," said M Venugopal, member of Basaveshwaranagar Residents' Association.

Roads in nearby Rajajinagar and Malleswaram are eerily dark after sunset and residents are stuck indoors. "There are intermittent power cuts even after 8 pm. People are scared to go out because street lights are off. We haven't complained to Bescom yet because this is not just happening in our area. If this continues, carrying on with the daily routine is going to become very difficult," said T N Lakshman Rao, member of the Rajajinagar RWA.

In some areas, the cuts are on alternate days and seeing the trend, residents are preparing accordingly. "In our area, there are 5-hour power cuts almost every day. It's not that bad. We are not against the government but it will be good if we are alerted. Some children have exams. Also, water supply is affected," said S Ramasubramanium, a resident of BTM Layout.

Jayanagar seems unaffected so far. H Keshawakumar, a resident of 4th Block, said there haven't been frequent power cuts in the past few days. But they are worried as KPTC reports suggest severe shortage. Parts of Koramanagala have been severely hit. "We have power cuts at least three times a day. Commercial establishments can get generators but we can't afford them. Drawing water is a problem and we are worried the situation will get worse," said B S Anantharam, resident of Koramanagala ST Bed Layout.

100 Days Agenda for Action of Ministry of Urban Development Unveiled

PIB Press Release
100 Days Agenda for Action of Ministry of Urban Development Unveiled
18:52 IST

Shri S. Jaipal Reddy, Union Minister for Urban Development said that the response to the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) has been spontaneous and overwhelming, as a consequence projects costing Rs.95,385 crores have already been sanctioned which are under various stages of implementation. This was stated by the Minister while addressing a press conference on the Agenda for Action for 100 days of the Ministry of Urban Development, here today. Minister of State, UD Shri Saugata Ray, Secretary, Urban development Dr. M. Ramachandran and other senior officers of the Ministry were also present.

Following is the text of Agenda for Action for 100 days:

The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) has the responsibility of broad policy formulation and monitoring of programmes/schemes in the areas of urban development, urban water supply, sanitation and urban transport. Although these are primarily State subjects, the Government of India plays a coordinating and monitoring role and also supports these programmes through centrally sponsored schemes.

However the UPA government—taking into account fast urban growth in India—took the historic step of launching the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) on 3rd December 2005 with a view to give fillip to urban infrastructure development in 65 major cities by mobilizing Rs. 50, 000 crores from the central budget and by getting a matching Rs. 50, 000 crores from the State governments and the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). The response to JNNURM has been spontaneous and overwhelming. As a consequence, projects costing Rs 95, 385 crores have already been sanctioned and which are under various stages of implementation.

1. Provision of additional funding under JNNURM

The Government of India, State governments and ULBs have committed to raise Rs. 1,00,000 crores of investments in the urban sector through JNNURM. However, it is recognized that further amount of Rs. 50, 000 crores would need to be raised urgently. Efforts will be made to raise the amount from Rs. 1, 00, 000 crores to Rs. 1, 50, 000 crores. To reach this goal, Government of India has t contribute Rs. 25, 000 crores.

2. Inclusion of more cities under JNNURM

When JNNURM was launched on 6h December 2005, the stress was laid on cities with population of only 10 lakhs and above (2001 Census). Now a concerted effort will be made to include such cities having population of 5 lakhs and above. This will mean adding 28 more cities to the current list of 65 Mission cities.

3. Emphasis on small and medium towns

Along with the scheme of Mission cities, another scheme for small and medium towns was launched in 2005 known as Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme in Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT). Rs. 11, 400 crores was allocated under this scheme. The demand from such cities is growing at a very high rate. Therefore, we will try to secure to secure further additional allocation under the UIDSSMT so as to meet the needs of small and medium towns.

4. National Mission Mode Project (NMMP) on e-Governance in Municipalities under JNNURM

The National Mission Mode Project (NMMP) on e-Governance in Municipalities is an important initiative of the Government of India for improving operational efficiencies and promoting transparency and accountability in delivery of eight services namely:

§ Registration and issue of birth certificate

§ Payment of property tax & utility bills

§ Citizen grievances

§ Building plan approvals

§ Procurements and monitoring of projects

§ Health programmes including licenses and solid waste management

§ Accounting system and

§ Personal Information System

NMMP on e-Governance is presently being implemented in 35 cities with a population of above 10 lakhs as per 2001 census under JNNURM. Now it is proposed to increase the coverage from 65 Mission cities by including 28 more cities having population of 5 lakhs and above. Ultimately the aim is to cover all 423 towns with population of over 1 lakh as per 2001 census.

5. Scheme for Infrastructure Development in Satellite Towns and Counter magnets

In order to lessen pressure on large cities, the Ministry will launch the scheme for satellite towns/counter magnets around mega cities to address basic infrastructure deficit such as drinking water, sewerage, drainage and solid waste management. An amount of Rs. 500 crores will be invested in this scheme.

6. Metro Projects

· The Metro projects in Bangalore (42.3 kms costing Rs. 8,158 crores) and Kolkata (14.6 kms at Rs. 4,874 crores) will be provided all assistance.

· The work on Chennai metro (45 kms at a cost of Rs. 14, 600 crores) and Mumbai Metro Line 2 from Charkop to Mankhurd via Bandra (32 kms at a cost of Rs. 7,660 crores) will be formally launched.

· Kochi metro project will be taken up for sanction.

· The National Capital (NCR) Region of Delhi will get connected to Delhi Metro with NOIDA link getting commissioned in August 2009.

· The Metro in Gurgaon will become functional in January 2010 and it shall get connected to Delhi by June 2010.

7. Buses for City transport

Buses are the major means of public transport for all the cities. For the first time in the history of independent India, substantial assistance has been made available for purchase of 15,220 modern buses for city transport for 61 mission cities. These buses will be delivered by December 2009. As we consider public transport in cities a critical issue, we will try to organize assistance in procurement of such buses in 118 cities having a population of two lakhs and above.

8. Metro experience on the city buses

To provide Metro experience on bus services to commuters, modern buses with low floor or semi low floor and wide doors, vehicle tracking system, on-line passenger information system, LED sign boards, electronic ticketing, smart cards etc. are envisaged. About 20% buses will provide air-conditioned comfort as well. A unique public transport help line number will be established for all cities across India.

9. Initiatives to dispense with tax burden on public buses

Our Ministry pleaded with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) for completely doing away with the excise duty on public buses. Consequently, in the budget of 2008-2009, the excise duty was reduced from 16 to 12 percent, and it was further reduced from 12 to 8 per cent in January 2009. We are making further efforts with the MoF for reducing the excise duty from eight to nil per cent. Efforts will be made to prevail upon the State/ ULBs to waive off State/ULB taxes on public buses in cities.

10. Reciprocal Common Transport Agreement (RCTA)

RCTA between Delhi, UP, Haryana and Rajasthan will become operational for both Stage carriage and Contract carriage. It will facilitate free movement of Buses, Taxis and Auto rickshaws across state borders without stopping.

11. Centres of Excellence

The work for opening of 13 Centres of Excellence located in the India Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Management, and other institutions of national importance to focus on urban transport and urban affairs will commence and financial assistance for same will be provided by the Ministry. These Centres would take up research and training in various aspects of urban development and urban transport and also provide technical support to the Ministry. In the area of Urban Transport, the Centres of Excellence will also conduct M. Tech. and PHD programmes for students and in-service professionals. MOUs will be signed with these Institutions.

12. National Mission on Sustainable Habitat

The National Mission for Sustainable Habitat will address issues related to sustainable development with co-benefits for climate change. We will promote sustainability of habitats through appropriate changes in legal and regulatory frameworks, improvements in energy efficiency in buildings, integrated urban planning, improved management of solid and liquid waste including recycling, power generation from waste, modal shift towards public transport and conservation of resources. We will also seek to build capacities for adaptation to climate change, community-based disaster management systems, comprehensive mobility, spatial and environment planning, and advance warning systems for extreme weather events. As a first step, our Ministry’s endeavour will be to develop sustainable habitat parameters within next three months.

13. Implementation of the National Urban Sanitation Policy

The Ministry proposes to launch a nation-wide media campaign for awareness-generation towards sanitation. It is proposed to support 50 cities for drawing up the City Sanitation Plans. It is also proposed to take up rating of cleanest cities on sanitation-related parameters.

14. North Eastern Region Urban Development Programme (NERUDP)

The address the urban infrastructure deficit in the, the Asian Development Bank-assisted North Eastern Region Urban Development Programme will be launched for implementation at project cost of about Rs 1,371 crores. Five cities of Agartala, Aizawl, Gangtok, Kohima and Shillong will be taken up in the first phase. States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur will be taken up in 2010.

15. Matter relating to the Delhi Master Plan 2021

The Delhi Master Plan 2021 envisages involvement of private sector in the development of land and provision of infrastructure services as an improvement over the current scheme of large-scale development and acquisition of land entrusted to the Delhi Development Agency (DDA). Focused efforts will be made to finalize the policy. Every effort will be made to finalize the Zonal Development Plans of Delhi.

16. Real Estate Regulator for Delhi

Real Estate Management (Regulation & Control) Bill for NCT of Delhi will be taken up for decision.

17. Building up 65, 000 houses by the DDA in next four years

In order to meet acute shortage of houses for urban poor, economically weaker sections and lower income groups of city of Delhi, construction of about 40, 000 houses will be taken up. Tender documents for construction of such houses have already been made ready with fast mode of construction adopting pre-fabricated technology. Here, about 10, 000 houses are phased to be completed every year from the year 2010 onwards.

In addition to above, about 10,000 houses for middle-income group will be taken up on the same technology of pre-fabricated construction in four years’ time in phases.

Apart from the above, about 15, 000 houses will be completed (ongoing projects) in various phases. These houses will be constructed on conventional technology and these will be available from the year 2009 to 2011 (details enclosed at Annexure 1).

18. In-situ development of houses for Jhuggi-jhompri (JJ) clusters and slum-dwellers

The DDA will take up in-situ development towards rehabilitation of slum-dwellers and JJ clusters in next five years for 23 clusters (details enclosed at Annexure 2). The total numbers of dwelling units of about 25 square meters will be about 47, 500. These will be taken up on public-private partnership model in which the land to in question that is presently occupied by the JJ/slum-dwellers will be made available to developers, which will construct EWS houses in accordance with the numbers identified by the DDA. These houses will be constructed on part of the area while in the remaining area, the developer will be allowed to carry out commercial exploitation of the land. The bidding parameter is envisaged to be the amount to be paid to the DDA in addition to the number of houses identified by the DDA in each cluster/land.

19. Bio-diversity parks by the DDA

DDA has launched a unique conservation initiative by establishing a network of bio-diversity parks in Delhi that are developed and maintained by the DDA with scientific inputs from the ‘Centre for Environmental Management for Degraded Eco-systems’ (CEMDE), Delhi University. This is a task taken up for the conservation and preservation of the environment.

These bio-diversity parks are uniquely landscaped and designed in-house by the landscape department of the DDA. A first of its kind in India and perhaps in the world are natural resources that harbor hundreds of varieties of species living together in the form of diverse communities providing ecological balance and educational benefits to the urban society.

Two bio-diversity parks are under active development to protect and conserve the two natural elements in Delhi, i.e., (i) Yamuna Bio-diversity Park at Wazirabad to revive the lost ecological systems of Yamuan River, and (ii) Aravalli Bio-diversity Park at Vasant Vihar in the extension of the ridge area to revive its lost eco-systems.

DDA will fully develop a chain of such bio-diversity parks in Delhi as mentioned hereunder:

· Northern Ridge

· Tilpath valley

· Neela Hauz

· River Front Development (Yamuna River front)

20. Sports Complexes in Delhi

In addition to the development activities and construction of housing complexes, DDA is also engaged in development of Sports Complexes, multi-gyms for the citizens of Delhi. DDA has already developed 14 such Sports Complexes and 39 multi-gyms.

In the near future, DDA will develop four new Sports Complexes, namely:

· A Racquet Sports Complex at Sector 17, Dwarka

· Sports Complexes at Sector 8, 19 and 23, Dwarka

· Sports complex to be developed at Sector 24, Rohini

· Sports Complex at Narela

21. 50% Reservation for women in Urban Local Bodies

Steps are being initiated towards moving a draft bill and for Consultation with States as a follow up of the Hon’ble President’s address to Parliament towards 50 per cent reservation for women in ULBs.

22. Facilitating of City Volunteer Technical Corps

Facilitating the formation of setting up of professionals as City Volunteer Technical Corps in all the 65 Mission cities through the State governments will be undertaken.

23. Service Level Benchmarks

Benchmarks for e-Governance in Urban Local Bodies and Urban Transportation will be set up.