Monday, September 28, 2009

Rs 2-cr project dries up, drip

Rs 2-cr project dries up, drip
Rs 2-cr project dries up, drip by drip

Plants at the Hebbal flyover median wither away due to lack of water.
Faiza Haneef
First Published : 28 Jul 2009 07:57:57 AM IST
Last Updated : 28 Jul 2009 09:03:24 AM IST

BANGALORE: The BBMP was working hard on the beautification of the road medians between Hebbal flyover and BIAL. But it is being stopped in its tracks by the continuous theft of the water valves, PVC pipes or drip lines that were being laid as part of the project about three months ago. What’s surprising is that despite its drive to bring back green to that stretch, the BBMP seem to be taking all the robberies quite casually.

“This is common with public property being looted and damaged,’’ an officer observed when asked why a police complaint was not lodged over the theft.

The Rs 2-crore drip irrigation concept initiated on NH-7 road median for plants developed by the BBMP Horticulture Department has stopped functioning leaving various species of flora drying out and dying. The adoption of drip irrigation for plants was a first in the city, and unfortunately did not last for more than three months. Now who is to blame? The poor security and maintenance by the Palike or the irresistible urge of the public to steal and deface public property? While the Palike is no mood to even file a case of theft, it is thinking of alternative ways of watering the plants on the medians from Hebbal flyover to BIA.

As an immediate measure, private contractors are watering the plants using tankers.

“Valves that control the water flow have been stolen and also the PVC pipes. When we switch on the motor, the water flows onto the roads instead of watering the plants,” said the authorities in question.

Chandrashekar from a private water supply agency who was watering the plants of the NH-7 said that the BBMP had assigned them the job of watering the plants from the Kogilu cross upto Hebbal lake and they require minimum 20 loads of water for the purpose everyday.

“Each load costs Rs 350 and every day we use about 20 loads and we are watering the plants from the past four days,’’ he said. At this rate, the Palike would end up paying Rs 76.65 lakh per annum to water this stretch. People have even stolen the switch board equipments of the borewell from where the water is supplied to the medians. With the main valves being stolen, the drip pipes laid across the medians have come off and when the water is supplied from the borewells, the roads get flooded.

BBMP Horticulture Joint Director A Narayanswamy said, “The Palike has received theft complaints and the department is taking measures in checking the security aspects.We have asked the contractors to keep an eye on the equipment.

However, it is impossible to guard 24X7,” said Narayanaswamy.

He added that they will rectify the problem and wherever they are taking up the drip irrigatation project, extra security measures will be implemented. However, water supply through the tankers is not costing the department much as it comes under the outsourcing contract.

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