Monday, February 22, 2010

Japanese firm to set up industrial park

Japanese firm to set up industrial park
Japanese firm to set up industrial park

Express News Service
First Published : 05 Nov 2009 04:30:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 05 Nov 2009 08:15:19 AM IST

BANGALORE: The Karnataka government has offered 1,000 acres of land to Japanese external trade body Jetro to set up an “eco-friendly” industrial park in Tumkur.

A joint committee comprising of Jetro and state government officers will be formed to monitor and pursue the project, senior director of Jetro, Daisuke Macsushima said after meeting with Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa.

Yeddyurappa said that the delegation had shown interest in setting up a bullet train network in Chennai- Bangalore-Mysore route, apart from developing an eco-friendly township and industrial parks.

“Other projects such as water supply and recycling system, commuter train network and infrastructure have been envisaged,” the CM said. “We want to extend the industrial corridor to Hubli and Belgaum,” he added.

Hi-tech system to check water pilferage

More hitech did they sell this to BWSSB...
Hi-tech system to check water pilferage
Hi-tech system to check water pilferage
S Lalitha, Bangalore, Oct 30, DHNS:

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has taken up a pilot prject that makes use of technology to identify points on its pipelines where water gets stolen through unauthorised connections, and also track leakages.

Under the BWSSB Act, those indulging in water theft could be punished with imprisonment for three years. This provision is expected to be effectively implemented from Nov 1. Bangalore-based Binary Core Software Technologies has been awarded the contract for the pilot study. The project has commenced on Avenue Road and the concern has already identified two leakage spots in the water pipeline. Assessment of the entire pipeline network in the area will be completed within a month.

“Almost 37 per cent of the water supplied through pipelines is unaccounted for, either because of thefts or illegal connections. This initiative is aimed at ensuring that the precious resource is not wasted,” said a top BWSSB official. The water supply department suffers revenue loss of several crores of rupees due to leakages. Plugging the leakages will therefore check the revenue pilferage apart from increasing the quantity, he added.

Technical aspects

The official said that Geographical Position Sensing (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) were being deployed to identify the leakage points. The Seismic Radar System can generally capture images using satellite up to a depth of 42 metres. “In the present case, it is enough to capture images up to a depth of three or four metres,” another official said.

As the exact point of leakage or theft is identified, there is no need to dig up an entire stretch of a road to detect the fault. This would in turn help in saving costs on relaying roads after the problem is fixed, the official said. Another advantage is that the system provides irrefutable proof of illegal tapping by just digging at the point, shown by the images. Another plus point is that the technology even reveals the dimensions of the pipe. “Hence, when a leaking pipeline has to be replaced, the new pipeline can be designed even before digging the road to remove the old one begins,” he said. The use of technology to detect leakages is a very costly venture, say officials.

However, if proven successful, the BWSSB has plans to adopt the system in different parts of the City.

Eye in the sky to spot water thieves

Haha..Do they know what pipes are running where first of all? Some body is making bucks....didnt see any results anywhere...another pilot another day
Eye in the sky to spot water thieves
Eye in the sky to spot water thieves

N R Madhusudhan
First Published : 31 Oct 2009 08:08:12 AM IST
Last Updated :

BANGALORE: Water thieves might have to mend their ways soon to avoid punishment, as the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is exploring possibilities of using a Geo Satellite Seismic Radar Survey (GSSRS) system to detect water leakage, water pilferage and theft of its properties.

A BWSSB official said, “We are trying this system on an experimental basis on a one-kilometre stretch on Avenue Road and we have engaged private company, Binary Care Software Technologies, for the purpose. According to them, even a small leak can be traced immediately, which will help us in fixing such leaks at the earliest.

It will also help us trace water pilferage, which will be of great help to the department.” With GSSRS, a satellite survey will be conducted round-the-clock in the marked area and its pictures will be transmitted through Geographical Position Remote Sensing (GPRS) to computers installed for monitoring.

The experts can immediately ascertain if there is a leakage, water pilferage or theft of the department’s properties within the given area after assessing the transmitted photos.

The area can be marked, based on the Geographical Information Survey (GIS) conducted by BWSSB.

GIS has all the details of all the properties of the department including water connections, water sources, pipelines and its offices in different areas.

Pipelines that are three metres deep can easily be studied without digging the ground.

This system can be used to ascertain the nature of the pipes that have been laid, size of the pipes, water flow durations and other details.

It will help the authorities to trace if there are any unauthorised connections within the given area and to spot any leakage.

GSSRS is expected to drastically reduce the amount of unaccounted water, which is fixed at 36 per cent of the total water supplied by BWSSB.


Problems galore for Samruddhi Layout residents

Problems galore for Samruddhi Layout residents
Problems galore for Samruddhi Layout residents
Bangalore: Oct 28, DHNS:

There seems to be no respite for the residents of Samruddhi Layout in Padmanabhanagar from the sewerage water inundating their streets and the foul stench it brings along.

Construction of the storm water drain embarked upon by the BBMP, at Samruddhi Layout, has been halted. Right: Sewerage water overflowing on to the streets has become a nuisance to the residents. DH PhotoThe residents have been facing this problem for the past three months. Everyday, the people here wake up to the foul smell and the streets, which are filled with sewerage water. Needless to say that life has become a hell for them.

The woes of these residents began when the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) embarked upon constructing a storm water drain (SWD) in the area, early this year. “In order to construct the storm water drain, the sewerage pipe that was located at the same place, had to be broken to divert the flow of water elsewhere. This was to ensure that the sewerage water and the storm water do not get mixed. Unfortunately, the project was halted just after the sewerage pipe was broken, thus pushing the sewerage water backwards, leaving the residents to bear with the affects of a unaccomplished task,” said one of the residents.

Empty promises

Frustrated residents had pursued the matter with MLA Krishnappa and also BBMP Commissioner Bharath Lal Meena. Apart from empty promises, the project was never completed. “The MLA claimed that he had approached the BBMP but in vain,” said another resident. It is alleged that the BBMP had cited ‘lack of funds’ as the reason for not completing the works.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, the authorities of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) explained that the problem was of a serious nature and it was ready to fix it in a week’s time. And that was possible only if the BBMP completed its work.
“We are in no position to help the residents. As long as the BBMP drags on with the work, it is not possible to replace the sewerage pipe,” said the BWSSB official.
Meanwhile, the BBMP in its defence has said that the higher up authorities had dispatched a ‘strongly-worded’ letter to the engineer in-charge of the zone. “The engineer has assured us that he will complete the work in the next four days,” informed a Palike official.

Underpass bypasses public opinion

Underpass bypasses public opinion
Underpass bypasses public opinion
Bangalore, Oct 27, DHNS:

Despite mounting public opinion against an unnecessary underpass at the Rabindranath Tagore Circle in Basavanagudi, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has begun work at the spot.

Underpass work in progress at Tagore Circle in the City. DH photoShattering the peace of the area, the entire stretch from Tagore Circle till Basavanagudi police station has been dug up over the last three days. All that remains for vehicles to pass through is a 25 feet wide road that allows movement from only one side.

The residents, who were not consulted before the project was taken up, are now left to endure the chaotic traffic, the trenches, dust and safety issues galore. “The civic agencies are just creating chaos. The idea is just an extension of the previous Basavangudi flyover fiasco.” This telling remark by a resident, Venkatram, summed up the public mood. Their troubles are apparently not going to end in a hurry, because the half-kilometre-long, 15-metre wide underpass will not be completed in another 18 months.

Barely three days into the road-digging work, the chaos had begun to tell.
On Tuesday, BMTC buses and other vehicles were found turning into BP Wadia Road and on the other side towards Gandhi Bazaar. Chaos prevailed at Prof Madhav Rao Circle as well. For decades, the residents lived in peace. Not anymore, it appeared.
Here’s why the dug-up road is a recipe for more chaos: Under this stretch runs one sanitary pipeline, five water lines, electric and telecom cables. To check the lines, the BBMP has dug trenches at every ten metres.

BWSSB in the dark

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) was caught unawares about the underpass construction. “We at the senior level have no information about this project. The BBMP is yet to approach us for shifting of the water and sanitary lines,” a top BWSSB official told Deccan Herald.

According to the Water Supply and Sewerage Board, four water lines ranging from 100 to 450 mm in diametre and a 225-mm sanitary line run below the proposed Tagore Circle underpass.

Any shifting of lines would mean at least a 15 to 25 day delay, since fresh tenders would have to be called.

The underpass project had been stalled for nearly three years due to opposition from the local leaders who seem to have vanished overnight.

Drinking water from sewage: BBMP shelves project

Drinking water from sewage: BBMP shelves project
Drinking water from sewage: BBMP shelves project

N R Madhusudhan
First Published : 28 Oct 2009 06:45:30 AM IST
Last Updated : 28 Oct 2009 08:19:21 AM IST

BANGALORE: Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has shelved its ambitious project to supply recycled sewage water for drinking purposes fearing public wrath, said a BWWSB official who did not want to be named.

The officials said: “People were against drinking purified sewage water.

Now, we will be supplying the tertiary treated sewage water for gardening and washing purposes to some areas through separate pipelines.” The first phase of the project was supposed to be completed by 2011 and was expected to provide BWSSB an additional 135 MLD (Million litres daily) of water to be supplied to the city.

In January 2008, the BWSSB had planned to start a project to recycle sewage and supply it for potable purpose. The project was expected to cost Rs 472 crore, and was to be jointly funded by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission and the state government, which was taking a loan from the Japan Bank of International Cooperation.

According to the plan the sewage was supposed to be pumped to Tavarekere in Magadi Road after tertiary treatment at Vrishabavathi Valley. The water would then pass through an purification plant in Tavarekere and flow to Thippagondanahalli Tank. It would then become tha part of the city’s water supply.

According to BWSSB’s calculations, Bangalore would need around 2,200 MLD of water by 2025. At present, BWSSB supplies around 970 MLD of water through all its available resources.

BWSSB will get an additional supply of 500 MLD after the completion of Cauvery IV Phase II Stage in 2012. The BWSSB was looking to generate more than 700 MLD of water through the sewage purification project. Now, it has the onerous task of finding water elsewhere, as the water allocated to the city by the Cauvery tribunal would be completely used with the completion the Cauvery IV Phase II Stage.


BWSSB plans water supply for 110 new villages

BWSSB plans water supply for 110 new villages
BWSSB plans water supply for 110 new villages

NR Madhusudhan
First Published : 26 Oct 2009 04:35:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 26 Oct 2009 07:28:13 AM IST

BANGALORE: The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to provide drinking water and sanitary facilities to the 110 villages that were recently added to the city. With this, BWSSB also faces the daunting challenge of managing its limited available drinking water resources.

Though the combined area of these villages is 224 sq kms, it is scattered across different parts of the city in different proportions. This entails BWSSB to study the topography of each of the villages and make a separate plan for each of them. Unless the government approves the DPR, the plans to generate funds to provide the aforesaid facilities to the villages cannot be executed.

The sewage flows out of the city only through Vrishabavathi Valley, Koramangala Valley, Challaghata Valley and Hebbal Valley. Therefore, underground drainage (UGD) flow from these areas has to be directed to the nearest valley. Some of the connecting tunnels, especially towards the northern and eastern parts of the city, are already flowing to their full capacity and are not in a position to hold extra load. It is also practically impossible to lay new UGD lines to connect these villages to the drainage valleys.

BWSSB is planning to supply water from the Cauvery to these areas in 2012 after the completion of Cauvery IV Stage, II Phase, as it will then get an additional supply to 500 million litres per day (MLD) of water. At present, BWSSB needs another 200 MLD of water to meet the needs of the core city. With the remaining 300 MLD, it is impossible to meet the needs of the newly-added areas. BWSSB is also supposed to show source of water in the DPR.

A BWSSB official said, “We have already started to prepare the DPR and it is a challenging task. It will take some time for the report to be completed.”

Reddy Inaugurates Workshop on Centres of Excellence

PIB Press Release
Establishing the Centres of Excellence for promoting various facets of urban development and management will go a long way in improving the financial management of urban local bodies, efficiency in service delivery, effective planning process, citizen interface and public participation, transparency and accountability. This was stated by Shri S.Jaipal Reddy, Union Minister for Urban Development while inaugurating a Workshop on Centres of Excellence on Urban Development and Urban Transport, here today. He further said that all these identified Centres of Excellence established within reputed professional institutions should emerge as resource centres in varied aspects of urban development, urban trasnsport and urban governance etc.

He opined that project and studies taken up by these centres will help in developing managerial, technical and analytical skills which can gainfully be deployed by the Urban Local Bodies.The Centres of Excellence should concentrate in those areas which are devoid of capacities and should be demand driven. The Minister advised that outcome of the projects should be followed by wide scale awareness programme so as to replicate the results on a larger canvas. He further said that the core expertise of Centres of Excellence needs to be well reflected in projects and studies assigned to these centres. India is a vast country with diverse physical, social, cultural and urban settings. The outcome of the projects taken up by Centres of Excellence should therefore meet the requirements of urban sector across the country, he added.

Shri Reddy mentioned that due to rapid population growth many urban areas are hard pressed to provide infrastructure, housing and other services. Urban Development is inseparably linked to provision of civic amenities to all the citizens living in urban areas as well as empowerment of urban local bodies to enable them to become financially sustainable democratic institutions capable of providing good quality civic services. He said that the Ministry of Urban Development has been in the forefront to usher in critical reforms in urban sector as well as creation of infrastructure through Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and other initiatives like Service Level Benchmarking, National Urban Sanitation Policy, NERUDP etc. The Minister informed that amount worth Rupees 95,500 crores have already been sanctioned for various projects like Solid waste management, Water Supply, Sewerage projects and Storm water drainage under JNNURM which means 90% of the money has been spent on basic services. Referring to the Second Economic Stimulus Package, which was to provide desired Stimulus to the automobile industry, the Minister said that the Ministry sanctioned 15000 Buses - Low floor, AC, Semi - Luxury Buses for urban transport under (JNNURM). Funds for the sanction of the buses were provided as additionality over the Statewise/citywise allocation under JNNURM. Similarly, the Minister said that Metro projects for Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kochi were sanctioned to provide safe and quick public transport to the commuters.

Shri Reddy stated that Developed urban land needs to be used very judiciously and optimally. The Centres of Excellence should develop land use models for intensive use, re-use and re-cycling of urban land. He also emphasised on need to develop a comprehensive urban information system including urban land records for multipurpose application and to facilitate quick decision making. Models are also required to be developed to synchronize environmental and disaster management concerns in the urban planning and development process, he added.

With a view to augment capacity for addressing various challenges in the urban sector like wastewater management, water-use labeling, public private partnership, climate change adaptation, benchmarking of service delivery, municipal financial management, energy efficiency in the building sector, rationalization of user charges, urban planning, solid waste management, urban transport etc, the Ministry of Urban Development has established 13 Centres of Excellence within reputed academic institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology at Delhi, Chennai and Guwahati, the India Institute of Management, Bangalore, Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad, Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe), New Delhi, Centre for Environment and Development, Thiruvanthapuram, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, Centre for Environment Planning and Transport, Ahmedabad, National Institute of Technology, Warangal and the Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi. The mandate of the centres is to produce cutting-edge research, carry out capacity building activities and improve the domain’s technical knowledge base. The deliverables would include collation and dissemination of best practices in the area of municipal service delivery and reform, development of a dynamic integrated land-use planning model, preparation of climate change adaption plan for two cities, development of design guidelines for comprehensive decentralized waste water management systems, preparation of policy research papers etc. Setting up of Centres of Excellence is a part of the 100 Days Action Plan of the Ministry of Urban Development.

BWSSB to keep iron grip on water pilferers

BWSSB amendment 2009 promises...stricter action...
BWSSB to keep iron grip on water pilferers

First Published : 25 Oct 2009 05:02:00 AM
Last Updated : 25 Oct 2009 03:20:13 PM IST

Water pilferers will have to reform themselves if they are to avoid going to jail as Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is in the process of getting a bill enacted in this regard.

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Laws Amendment Bill 2009, which has been drafted by the BWSSB, has already got the State Cabinet’s approval and is expected to be introduced in the state legislature very soon. The bill aims to modify BWSSB Act 1964 and give more power to BWSSB.

Those indulging in water theft and water meter tampering face the risk of paying heavy penalties and being imprisoned for three years. BWSSB’s employees and plumbers who connive with the water pilferers also face the same punishment. If any other norm is violated the offender faces the risk of going to jail for six months and paying Rs 5,000 fine.

Those who do not pay the pro rata charges as levied by BWSSB within the stipulated time will have to pay 25 per cent of the pro rata charges extra in addition to the penalties imposed.

The bill prohibits constructions by private parties in BWSSB’s lands and only at a distance of 1.5 meters from its pipelines.

The bill has recommended heavy penalties for the trespassing on prohibited areas, failure to maintain water connection in a proper condition, occupying a house without proper water connection, using the water that is drawn from a domestic connection for non-domestic purposes, engaging an unlicensed plumber to take a water connection, wasting or misusing water, polluting water flow, wilful negligence near water works, constructing houses without drains and connecting to sewer lines without taking permission.

BWSSB is taking various innovative and modern measures like installing water flow check meters and GIS mapping of its connections to track the water pilferers.

Yeddy Regime Approves "Kalam Pura" Project in 200 Hoblis

Bangalore: Yeddy Regime Approves "Kalam Pura" Project in 200 Hoblis

From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Bangalore

Bangalore, Oct 22: An ambitious action plan for implementation of ``Kalam Pura’’ project, named after former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, for the comprehensive development of villages in 200 hoblis, at an investment of Rs 2 crore in each village has been approved by the Karnataka cabinet.

Under the project, approved by the BJP government headed by the state cabinet at a meeting chaired by chief minister B S Yeddyurappa on Thursday, .the government would take up works for the total development of villages and carry out improvements relating to drinking water supply, drainage, electricity supply, roads, telecommunication includinding internet facilities with the ultimate objective of transforming each of the village into a hub of economic activity.

In coastal areas, the villages would also have a jetty for the benefit of fishermen.

Briefing the press after the cabinet meeting, home minister Dr V S Acharya said the chief minister has set a three-month deadline for preparing a time-bound programme for implementing Kalam Pura project.

It may be recalled that Dr Kalam, while addressing a joint session of both houses of the state legislature in 2005 when he was President, to mark the golden jubilee of Karnataka’s formation, had proposed implementation of the ``PURA’’ (Providing Urban Infrstructure in Rural Areas) programme.

The then JD(S)-BJP coalition regime headed by H D Kumaraswamy had subsequently unveiled the ``Suvarna Gramodaya’’ programme as part of the intiatiive to implement Pura by proposing to invest Rs 1 crore in each in 1000 villages.

The Yeddyurappa regime has now chosen to rechristen the programme as ``Kalam Pura’’ to signify the government’s total commitment for the comprehensive development of villages.

"We intend to invest more than the original proposal of investing Rs 1 crore in each of the villages. The the total outlay on each of the select villages may go up to Rs 3 crore. Our intention is to transform the villages and eliminate the necessity of rural people to migrate to urban areas,’’ he said.

In another decision, the Cabinet approved amendments to the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) Act and certain other laws, including the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, to make rainwater harvesting, installation of meters for all water connections mandatory in Bangalore and other urban areas.

All new houses to be built in Bangalore City on a residential site measuring 2400 sq ft and above shall build tanks to harvest rain water and the existing ones should also adopt it, Dr Acharya said indicating the proposed amendment bill would be introduced in the forthcoming legislature session.

The government decided to bear the cost escalation amounting to Rs 442 crore towards implementation of the second phase of the Cauvery Fourth Stage drinking water supply scheme for Bangalore.

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has financed Rs 3,383 crore for the project set to be completed by 2011.

Dr Acharya said the cabinet approved a proposal for developing 10,000 kms of rural roads by 2010-11 and to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for the purpose. The required funds would largely be drawn from the Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).

The state cabinet decided to extend deferment in payment of road tax by the North-East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation by one more year, a concession granted in 2001, as the loss-making body had turned the corner by achieving a break-even point in its revenues.

However, the corporation was not in a position to clear the dues of Rs 194.13 crore to the government despite improvement in its financial position. Consequently, the cabinet decided to convert the dues into government equity, he said.

The Cabinet decided to authorise the chief minister to finalise the three candidates to be nominated to the state legislative council to fill up the vacancies arising out of the retirement of Congress members Prakash Rathod, Mallajamma and Dr Chandrashekar Kambar. The three persons were nominated by the S M Krishna government and their term ends in January.

With the retirement of the three nominated members and filling up of the vacancies by the government, the ruling BJP will gain a clear majority in the upper house when its strength goes up from the present 28 to 31 while that of the Congress comes down to 25. However, the combined opposition will have an upper hand in the house for some more time.

Cauvery project's cost jumps by Rs 442 cr - Bangalore - City - The Times of India

Cauvery project's cost jumps by Rs 442 cr - Bangalore - City - The Times of India
BANGALORE: The cost of the proposed Cauvery Water Supply Scheme's (CWSS) Stage IV (Phase-II), being taken up with financial assistance from Japan Bank for International Co-operation, has shot up by Rs 442 crore!

The project was initially estimated to cost Rs 2,942 crore. The figure has now risen to Rs 3,384 crore. The state cabinet, which met on Thursday, approved the revised cost.

Home minister V S Acharya said the cabinet has given its commitment for the escalation sought in the detailed project report. The government had accorded administrative approval to the scheme on June 8, 2005, and the project was slated to be completed by 2009-2010. "But it did not take off due to various reasons and its completion will be further delayed," an official said.

BBMP continues demolition drive

BBMP continues demolition drive
BBMP continues demolition drive
Bangalore, Oct 19, DH News Service:

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will continue with its anti-encroachment drive to clear all the storm water drains and ensure smooth flow of rain water, said the BBMP Commissioner Bharatlal Meena.

BBMP workers demolishing buildings constructed over Raja Kaluve (storm water drain) at Sultanpet in Bangalore on Monday. dh photoHe was talking to reporters at Sultanpet where he had gone to inspect the ongoing anti-encroachment drive to clear the storm water drain.

Meena said there are around 800 kilometres of major storm water drains in the City, of which around 500 kilometres are under encroachment. He said BBMP will not go soft on encroachment of these drains.

Bharatlal said the encroachment had resulted in the mixing of storm water drains with the sewerage lines. The BBMP has asked the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to clear its drains and also lay fresh lines wherever required.

He however, ruled out possibilities of sewerage mixing with the drinking water.

Buildings in a stretch of around 500 metres had come up on the storm water drain in Sultanpet, which was causing flooding every year. Awakened by the deaths of people washed away in the SWDs, the BBMP carried out the drive against encroachment of the drains and chose Sultanpet despite stiff resistance from the owners of the properties and the tenants living there.

A week back, the BBMP razed a four-storey building on the storm-water drain. In the last three days, the Palike has demolished the Balaji Enterprises, a business complex which has six partners, said sources.

They added that Balaji Enterprises may take at least four to five more days to be fully demolished. The BBMP is searching for options to file criminal cases besides levying penalty on the encroachers of Sultanpet storm-water drain.

The businessmen who have taken portions of the encroached building, complained to Deccan Herald that for the last 33 years the buildings were there but never had the BBMP or any other civic authority taken note of clearing the encroachment.

However, they welcomed the latest move saying that due to the encroachment there used to be flooding in the area every year. They, however, demanded compensation to the tenants who had taken the shops on lease.

Problems of the middle-class

Problems of the middle-class
Problems of the middle-class
Sandeep Moudgal and Rashmi Menon

Malleswaram is said to be a middle class bastion, a locality that now houses hundreds of IT and other professionals. One of the oldest parts of Bangalore, this place too has changed with time.


35: Aramanenagara
45: Malleswaram
64: Kadumalleswara
65: Rajamahalguttahalli
66: Subramanyanagara
76: Gayatrinagara

Defining Malleswaram:
Vyalikaval grounds where work has come to a standstill . DH Photo
*One of the oldest areas in the city is a middle class bastion.
*The constituency has seen
indiscriminate construction activities in the recent past.
*Increasing pressure is being felt on the drainage system, water supply.
*Two signal free corridors,
25 signal free junctions, five Railway Under Bridges, day care centres for elders, playground, indoor stadiums are some of the developements expected in the future

Today, Malleswaram is an assembly constituency that includes Gayatrinagar, Subramanayanagar, Mathikere, parts of Yeshwantpur and the VIP area of Sadashivanagar.

With the new high rises and apartment complexes, and the old houses and trading areas, the constituency is primarily a residential locality. But with time, new developments have posed new challenges. With the rapid increase in population and numerous apartment complexes, the pressure on the drains and water supply coupled with traffic congestion and narrow roads have become a perpetual problem for Malleswaram.

Plans are afoot for massive developmental works costing huge amounts of money.
But will they work?

A massive investment of Rs 5,000 crore has been proposed to build 20 new signal free junctions in the constituency by the sitting MLA Dr Ashwath Narayana. Five railway underpasses approximately worth Rs 35 crore are in the pipeline. Also on the agenda are an indoor stadium and park, lighting of streets in various areas and water kiosks in 15 locations. But the real problems still persist in most parts of Malleswaram, problems that need to be addressed at the earliest.

According to Chandru R C, President of MSR Nagar Resident Welfare Association, there is a scarcity of drinking water in their area. The area receives drinking water around 4 pm till past midnight. “We have complained about this several times but with no use. The standard answers we get from the engineers are either lack of staff or lack of funds to give contractors,” he said.

In Lower Palace Orchids, Vyalikaval, residents are faced with a huge garbage problem. The waste is dumped right outside their homes. “We have pursued the problem at the highest levels including the National Human Rights Commission.
Finally, some relief came when the BBMP cleared the garbage and began the construction of a modern playground. But, three months ago, it stalled and the area has been left in the lurch,” said Srinivas Murthy, resident of Lower Palace Orchids.
“Our primary concern over the next few months will be on garbage disposal and traffic related issues,” said S Ramananathan, President for Sadashivnagar RWA.

Chandru said that their area was not being cleaned regularly. “We have sweepers cleaning the roads. However, the vehicle that comes to pick up the garbage is irregular. So the sweepers dump the garbage in the drains,” he lamented. Beside, the silt in the storm water drains are not cleaned at regular intervals due to which, ten houses were flooded during the recent rains.

“I had to complain to the BBMP commissioner to clear the silt in the drains,”
he said.

The ITI Layout Residents' Association has a problem with sewage water entering their homes. Mani, President of the association, said: “Ours’ is a land locked layout. Hence, the catchment water from Mathikere enters our layout.” The association had been fighting with the Government for the last 12 years to lay a pipeline to resolve the inundation issue. However, none of the officials have paid any heed to their complaints.

Srinivas, Resident of Malleswaram: “The rapid increase in new high rise buildings is a cause for worry. Indiscriminate issue of licences to new apartments is causing strain on the drainage system and water supply in Malleswaram.

Srinivas Murthy, Resident of Aramanenagar: “While efforts were made by the authorities to develop the Vayalikaval playground, it has been left incomplete. For the past one month the work has stalled.

Manjunath, resident of ITI Layout: “The waste water from the nearby hospital flows into our storm water drain. During heavy rain, the water overflows and enters our homes. There is no outlet for rain water.

In Conversation

Dr Ashwatha Narayan, MLADr Ashwatha Narayan, MLA

Which are the areas you wish to concentrate on for more development?

The former Armanenagar ward, Guthalli, Mathikere and other areas need development. Before receiving the people’s mandate, these areas had been grossly neglected. But it has picked up in the last one year for more developmental works.

What are the new works that have been commissioned in Malleswaram?

Nearly 25 junction-free zones have been proposed. There are two major junction-free corridors proposed under my constituency for smoother flow of traffic. We are looking at works that are need-based rather than spending on works that will not be of immediate use for the people.

How has been the response from the Civic Agencies in the city to your demands?

The response has been quite vibrant. But there have been odd-cases where the lack of initiative has been a matter of concern. We are trying to change the system and get the officials on the field to get the work done.

How have the RWAs worked in your favour?

The concept of involving Resident Welfare Association (RWA) has truly been beneficial. We are trying to streamline the entire system where I, as an MLA, will only be a go-between the Chief Minister and the RWA.

Mineral water for free at public places soon

Didnt see it for Real
Mineral water for free at public places soon

First Published : 14 Oct 2009 04:26:00 AM IST

You need not buy mineral water any more when you feel thirsty at public places in the city. Because the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is making arrangement to supply safe drinking water in almost all public places.

BBMP is installing drinking water kiosks at different locations in the city to ensure people have access to mineral water.

Under the pilot project, the Palike is setting up about 85 water kiosks in BBMP West Zone and the kiosks are expected to operate in the next 15 days.

Each kiosk, being set up at a cost of Rs 50,000, will have a mineral water filter which will supply normal (room temperature) water.

T he water to the kiosks is loaded by the Bengalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) tankers in two trips, one each in the morning and evening.

The water will then be treated and filtered in the purifier attached to the kiosks.

“BBMP is making arrangement to provide safe drinking water facility in the public places and the project will be started on a trial round,” said a senior BBMP official. This is the first time that safe filtered drinking water would be made available for the people, he added.

We have had initial talks with BWSSB to supply water through their tankers, he said.

If a trial run is successful, the project will be extended to other parts of the city.

A rough ride

Wonder how all B's are cause for bumpy ride in bangalore
A rough ride

BANGALORE: Bad roads, especially potholed ones, are fast becoming a part of “namma Bengaluaru’s” vibrant life with the civic authorities playing the blame game.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) attributes the potholes to “chronic leakage”, while the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) blames it on the poor quality roads. The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) points fingers at the haphazard digging by telephone operators, but the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) swears that it sticks to government guidelines while digging roads.

“Chronic leakage in old water supply and sewerage pipelines is the main reason for potholes in the city,” said BBMP engineer-in-chief AK Gopala Swamy. A BWSSB official, however, said, “BBMP should notify BWSSB of the leakages damaging the roads.

BWSSB would take immediate measures to solve the problem.” There are about 8,000 km of old BWSSB lines in the city, which are prone to leakages, but the organisation would always make sure that repair work is carried out within hours of being notified, he added.

Swamy also blamed BESCOM, BSNL and private telephone operators, who dig the road. Once their work is over, they leave the road in a damaged condition, he said.

BSNL principal general manager Shubhendu Ghosh countered, “We are a government agency and there is perfect coordination with BBMP.” The digging is done with BBMP’s permission and according to the guidelines, he said.

BESCOM MD Tushar Girinath also pointed at the haphazard digging of roads by telephone operators. “It is usually the telephone operators who do these unauthorised digging and later leave the road in a damaged state.

If repair work is going on, often it is wrongly assumed that it is being done by BESCOM. However, this is not the case as even telephone operators carry out maintenance work,” he said.

“BESCOM does methodical digging to carry out its repair work and according to the new directives, would also be responsible for leaving the road in a good condition once their work is done,” Girinath said.

Old wine in old bottle?

The irresponsible BDA not facilitating utilities...
Old wine in old bottle?
First Published : 06 Oct 2009 05:10:00 AM IST Last Updated : 06 Oct 2009 06:55:21 AM

BANGALORE: The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) is yet to ensure that layouts established five years get basic amenities but it is nevertheless going ahead with what can only be called an ambitious plan under the circumstances and setting up five new layouts.

The five new layouts that are planned around the city will house more than 1.8 lakh sites. However, these areas lack amenities such as water supply, underground drains, asphalted roads, and stormwater drains, indicating that the BDA has failed to see the ground reality.

Take a look at the road that connects the Banashankari 6th Stage and everything that is wrong with BDA comes to the fore. Sample this: Most of the lids that cover the manholes of the underground drains are missing, some of the manholes are broken by some miscreants, some of the manholes are filled with stones and plants have grown in some of them. The storm water drains in the first block of the layout are not connected to a connecting line and consequently the water overflows onto the roads damaging the roads.

The street lights are not in a working condition and the electric cables on the poles and the cables that are connected to the transformers are stolen.

R Rangaswamy, a resident, said, “Though the authorities have constructed the underground drains they are not connected and we cannot use them. There is no water supply and we rely on bore water for all our needs.” BDA is yet to lay the sewage lines in some of the blocks of Anjanapura Layout and as a result the roads in these blocks are yet to be asphalted. It’s litany of complaints is almost similar to that of Banashankari 6th stage. What’s more, the residents have even dug up septic tanks on the roads.

Vanitamma, the owner of the house on Plot No 778 of the layout said: “The electric cables were not functioning properly and we had to take electric connection from some other block. It is fearful at the night as the street lights are not functioning and we dread going out after sunset.” BDA had to stop the construction of the main road (80 feet road) that connects Sir M Vishveshwaraiah Layout and Ullal and developing some parts of the layout due to court cases and, thus, their counterparts’ problems are to be seen here too.

When these problems were brought to the notice of the BDA officials concerned, they said that the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has been entrusted the responsibility of giving water supply, laying water lines, digging underground drains and storm water drains. The officials also said that the provisions would be made to give electricity connections to the site owners as and when they construct the houses.

The BWSSB officials said that they cannot give water supply to these layouts till the completion of Cauvery 4th Phase, II Stage in 2012.

The tenders for the works that have to be taken up in these layouts have been called and these works will be completed as soon as possible.

For now, as soon as possible is going to be the operative phase.

Biwater responds to ‘Public Citizen’ report

Of concern to Bangalore....
BVI News, daily news, breaking news on demand, photos, videos, forum, commentary, polls - Biwater responds to ‘Public Citizen’ report
Ocean Conversion has been distributing a defamatory document published by ‘Public Citizen’ entitled ‘Biwater - A Corporate Profile’.

Biwater and the other major water supply and management specialist companies worldwide such as Bechtel (USA), Veolia (French), Ondeo (French), RWE (German), Thames Water (UK), Saur (French) have been the target of anti-private sector, anti-globalization groups for a significant time; these groups fundamentally do not have the best interests of the water supply customers in mind, but rather are determined to try to force their ideals on to them irrespective of the end result for the customers.

‘Public Citizen’ was created in 1971, in the United States, in “the belief that the public needs advocates representing their interests in the United States Congress, the executive branch and the courts to push back against the influence of corporate lobbyists on government.” Perhaps it is therefore not surprising that when trying to campaign against the major European water industry companies, this entity makes so many incorrect and false statements about them.

Addressing the points in the report in turn:

1. Formation of Biwater.
Biwater was formed in 1968, not 1989. There have been no successful litigations against it in its 41-year history. It is the majority shareholder in one UK public water utility whose income is totally controlled by the UK Government’s Regulating Authority, OFWAT.

2. Tanzania
The Dar es Salaam contract was a World Bank funded project in which Biwater had a minority interest in a 10-year Management Contract. Biwater did not “saddle the Tanzanian people with $145 millions of debt”; when Biwater started its Management Contract, the bulk of the planned infrastructure works were yet to be contracted by the World Bank through public-bid contracts that did not involve Biwater in any way. In a subsequent court case Biwater was totally exonerated by the International Court in the Hague (see the attached press release) and it is worth noting that the Minister responsible for terminating the contract was fired from his eventual position as Prime Minister for corruption. Biwater will never respond to blackmail.

3. South Africa
Nelspruit has been the most successful water privatization in South Africa. The SAMWU (South African Municipal Workers Union) detests its success, as it shows how successfully water utilities in South Africa can be managed, and therefore it is the source of these totally spurious, unsubstantiated, stories. The ‘On Air’ retractions and apologies by the South African Broadcasting Corporation and public praise of the contract not only by the Government’s Minister of Water Affairs, but also by President Mbeki himself, totally dismissed this “sick, politically motivated, journalism”. See the attached documentation produced by the Executive Mayor of Nelspruit in support of Biwater.

4. Aid, Trade, and Arms
The Pergau Dam is not in Thailand; it is in Malaysia. It was a hydro-electric dam and Biwater had absolutely no connection or involvement with it whatsoever. Repetition of these spurious ‘facts’ by two newspapers in the UK resulted in very substantial damages being awarded to Biwater in the courts. (s

5. British Government
Biwater has received no British Government sponsored or aided support for over 15 years.

6. The Philippines
Biwater has a minority share holding in the Subic Bay water company; the majority of shares and control are held by the Subic Bay Government.

See the attached letter from the Government in support of Biwater.

7. Malaysia
There have never been any disputes with the Malaysian Government. Regarding the massive rural water supply project executed by Biwater see the attached letter of support from the Government of Malaysia.

8. India
The Bangalore project was a Biwater and World Bank funded proposal. To date, no privatization in either power or water exists in India and this project as with Zimbabwe did not proceed either.

9. Panama
The statement “in 1999 Biwater was changing the terms of the contract to score an additional $15 million” is simply wrong. The 15 million actually referred to 15 million gallons; the expansion required to meet the increase in demand, and considered due to a specific request by IDAAN, the Government water authority. The water supply project was a Biwater-World bank investment and was subject to full socio-economic and environmental impact studies and considerations which were executed independently by the World Bank and for which there has NEVER been any question.

10. Bournemouth and West Hampshire Water Company
This water company is consistently recognized as amongst the most successful water companies in the UK year-on-year, as determined by the stringent OFWAT regulations. The reference to a “missed notification date” is misleading, it was due to the lengthy process to attain planning permission for the disinfection plant; it was not due to any Biwater default.

The Biwater Group of companies, during its 41-year history, has never been accused of corruption. Biwater is a founder signatory to the World Economic Forum’s joint stand, with Transparency International, against bribery and corruption, and its record with the World Bank, IFC, Asian and African Development Banks, World Export Credit and AID agencies prove the ethical, business, and commercial standards of the Group.

Karnataka’s own total sanitation drive launched

Karnataka’s own total sanitation drive launched

First Published : 03 Oct 2009 04:28:34 AM

BANGALORE: ‘Nairmalya’ - a state-level total sanitation campaign to ensure that every household has a toilet facility by 2012 was launched on Friday under the aegis of the Karnataka Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Board.

The programme has come exactly four years after the Centre launched a similar programme. The two programmes will run side by side.

Launching the pro - gramme, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa announced Rs 3,000 as incentive or subsidy for every toiletless-house which goies in for a toilet. It is an increase from the previous Rs 2,500.

Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Shobha Karandlaje, noted that the programme was found necessary as villages, especially those in North Karnataka, did not seem to be picking up on the Central government programme.

The state-level programme will accelerate the total sanitation campaign, she said.

Of f i c i a l s s a i d t h at Chikmagalur, Kodagu and Udupi would soon be joining Shimoga and Dakshina Kannada, in achieving total sanitation in the state.

As in the case of the Centre’s programme, the state government too has made known the institution of awards for gram panchayats, taluk panchayats and zilla panchayats achieving 100 per cent target and giving thrust to cleanliness and sanitation. These awards shall be given away every year on June 5 - the World Environment Day, it is said.

At the gram panchayat level, there will be 10 best village awards, and Rs 40 lakh has been allotted for it.

There will be two awards for taluk panchayats, of Rs 30 lakh each. Another Rs 30 lakh has been allotted for the best zilla panchayat award.

Rains expose poor quality

BWSSB shifting pipes...cause for poor road, drainage etc...same old story...
Rains expose poor quality Sandeep Moudgal, Sep 30, Bangalore:
The deadly mix of heavy rains, mounting vehicular traffic and poor construction quality has left several City roads in a dilapidated state.

Motorists face a harrowing time to ride on these roads due to their bad condition. Shri Vasavi Temple Road. DH PHOTOSNeedless to say, incomplete works have only added to the mess and the accidents, many fatal, are proof enough.

From Hosur Road to Old Madras Road and from Bellary Road to Bannerghatta Road, all the stretches face the same problems of potholes and uneven works. “The Bannerghatta Road lies in a horrible condition. It is a back-breaking exercise to travel on it,” says H L Manohar, one among the numerous motorists who travel this stretch everyday.

Heavy rains that lashed the City over the past few weeks have worsened the situation and the number of craters and ditches have increased. As cursing motorists brave these craters, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is grappling with the “right time” to award a re-tender for a couple of these arterial roads.
The Palike officials squarely blame the current monsoon for the delay. “We are ready to call for a re-tender for Old Madras Road (OMR) and Mysore Road, but because of the rainy season there has been trouble in commissioning the work,” said a Palike official.

Stumbling block
If the rains are one reason, then the inaction of the Bangalore Water Supply and Seweage Board (BWSSB) in shifting a drinking water pipeline, is another reason for the delay in repairing OMR, according to the BBMP.

The stretch has been crying for attention. Motorists want some relief from the huge potholes, but so far their pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Palike officials state that no amount of pressure has yielded results from BWSSB to shift the pipeline. It is learnt that, recently the top brass in the BBMP made a midnight visit to the OMR stretch and discussed the problems in repairing it. “We intend to call for a tender for the OMR stretch till the NGEF railway gate,” the official said.

Incomplete Job
On Sunday, the BBMP began their work for the third time this year on the Sanjaynagar underpass. Work was carried out on top of the flyover leading to the Bangalore International Airport. While the work was completed in record time, it has been left to the motorists to “smoothen” the road.

“We have opened the road for vehicular movement for smoothening the road. It does not require any asphalting,” argued the official. Meanwhile, the residents in Sanjaynagar have complained that the roads in their vicinity were dug up and left unattended to over the past few weeks. “The Sanjaynagar Main Road was asphalted and prepared after a long battle with the BBMP. Now the road is dug up by some cable company and no one is taking responsibility,” said V Sathyamurthy, resident of Sanjayanagar.

* Hosur Road: Madivala Cross on Hosur Road has series of potholes to be negotiated by motorists. Buses, trucks and two-wheelers have to swerve to avoid the ditches in the middle of the street near Total Mall.
* Bannerghatta Road: From the Cemetery to Diary Circle, motorists have a hard time in avoiding the ditches. Two sewers along the road have been perennially overflowing causing harm to the road near Sagar Apollo Hospital.
* Mysore Road: One of the worst roads to negotiate, Mysore Road has several bad stretches near the Mysore Road old tollgate, Vijayanagar.
* CMH Road: The on-going Metro work has virtually narrowed the CMH road stretch to a single lane on both sides. But even these have been neglected and lie in tatters due to movement of heavy vehicles. Craters were found on both sides of the road.
* Magadi Road: The stretch seems to be in a better condition than others, with only patches of asphalt having been lost due to the rains.
* Bellary Road: While the road has been by and large maintained by the BBMP, the entrance to Sanjaynagar has been virtually forgotten. While works were conducted on the flyover linking the International Airport to the city four days ago, it is only rubble and dust that is holding the work together.

BWSSB’s seven-year itch begins

The same story begins again about leaks and new meters..Has there been any report document (bwssb annual report) showing which are the areas the meters has been be replaced etc...What about their GIS maps, why dont they publish a map of areas above 7 years etc...
BWSSB’s seven-year itch begins 01 Oct 2009

BANGALORE: To curb water distribution losses, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is planning to replace all domestic water meters that are more than seven years old. The BWWSSB will bear the cost of the replacement, which will start from the first week of October.

A BWSSB official said that as per international standards, the lifespan of a water meter is fixed at seven years, after which they might become ineffective.

The meters used by nondomestic consumers for over seven years will also be changed by BWSSB. But the consumers themselves will have to bear the expenses of the meters, which will vary from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1.25 lakh, based on the size of the meter.

This measure is expected to reduce the amount of unaccounted water, said to be 36 per cent of the total water supplied by BWSSB.

BWSSB is losing Rs 17-19 crore every month due to unaccounted water.

There are around 5.5 lakh domestic water meters installed in the city, with more than 1.5 lakh water connections more than seven years old.

BWSSB will continue to replace the meters as and when they cross seven years of installation.

Earlier, single-jet-class A meters were installed, which will now be replaced with multi-jet-class B meters, which are of superior make and more accurate.

The official said, “A multi-jet meter costs around Rs 1,000 and the board will recover the money through monthly meter service charges, which is fixed at Rs 20.” BWSSB has also invited tenders to procure the multi-jet-meters. A supplier has to pass through the ‘technical bid’ and ‘financial bid’ to get the contract.

According to conditions laid down in the technical bid, the suppliers’ product has to pass the “life-cycle test” conducted by the Fluid Control Research Institute at Phalghat in Kerala.

iTWire - SKM implements Organice to manage and control project documentation

Does BWSSB has a sharepoint based Engineering document management? Has any one heard or seen it working...
iTWire - SKM implements Organice to manage and control project documentation 29 September 2009 20:14
Cadac Organice, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and developer of Organice, a SharePoint based solution for engineering document management and document control, today announced that Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) will implement Organice to manage and control its engineering project documentation.

SKM is a leading engineering, sciences and project delivery firm with its head office in Sydney, Australia, and multiple offices around the world. Its projects range from the Stadium Australia for Sydney’s 2000 Olympics, the Yakin oil and gas project, the award winning Tourist Resorts in Queensland, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sanitation Project, and Disneyland Passenger Rail Car.

SKM builds on the expertise and knowledge of its people around the world, working together in virtual project teams to deliver solutions for its clients. To work efficiently, project members need the right tools to collaborate and to share and exchange information, regardless of their location and time zone. After extensive research, SKM has found in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and the Organice Product Suite the right platform and tools to manage and control project documents. Among others, SKM will use Organice Explorer to manage its project documents including CAD drawings, Office documents and e-mail, and Organice Transmit to distribute documents to internal and external recipients using transmittals.

Playing god in the heavens

Playing god in the heavens - Pune - City - The Times of India
PUNE: As the Phase-I of the special cloud research programme in the country entered its final stage, scientists of the city-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) who are leading this project have claimed that, using the data collected in the first phase, a more scientific cloud seeding initiative could be undertaken next year.

The Phase-I of the programme called Cloud Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment (CAIPEEX) was flagged off from here on May 17, 2009 and would finish on September 30. So far observational missions from Pune, Pathankot, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Bareilly and Guwahati have been completed.

Specially designed, twin-engine Piper Cheyenne N361 JC pressurised aircraft, which can go up to an altitude of 25,000 ft, have been used for the programme. The aircraft have been fitted with scientific instruments.

Elaborating on the importance of cloud seeding, deputy programme manager Mahesh Kumar said, "In many regions of the world, traditional sources and supply of ground water, rivers and reservoirs are either inadequate or under threat from ever-increasing demands resulting from changes in land use and growing population. All fresh water, whether on the surface or underground, comes from the atmosphere in the form of precipitation. This has prompted scientists to explore the possibility of augmenting water supply by means of cloud seeding."

"Atmospheric aerosols have been found playing an important role in cloud microphysics," said B N Goswami, director, IITM. "As the background aerosol distribution and cloud condensation nuclei have changed significantly in the recent years, need for a fresh, scientifically-designed experiment to understand which aerosols modify clouds and lead to precipitation was strongly felt. Hence, the IITM has launched a multi-year, multi-institutional programme, which would address the intricacies of aerosol-cloud-rainfall interactions. The main aim is to study two components, like understanding cloud-aerosol interaction and precipitation enhancement."

Goswami added that, CAIPEEX , which is funded by the Union ministry of earth sciences, would take place in three phases during 2009 to 2012.

Phase-I of the programme was devoted to intensive cloud and aerosol observations using an instrument aircraft over different parts of the country during the period May to September 2009.

Phase-II will be based on the results of Phase-I. A randomised experiment will be carried out in the monsoon and post-monsoon seasons of 2010 and 2011. Statistical methods and numerical model simulations will be used to evaluate the experiment. Two aircraft will be used for cloud microphysics observations and cloud seeding purposes.

The third phase of the programme will be devoted to detailed scientific analysis of the data collected from the first two phases. It would be carried out it 2012.

When asked about the benefits of the programme, programme manager J R Kulkarni said: "One of the requirements for improving the accuracy of numerical weather forecast is high-resolution cloud resolving models. The data collected in the CAIPEEX will be useful for effecting this improvement. Most importantly, the experiment will provide the guiding principles for carrying out operational cloud seeding programmes in a more efficient and economic way."

History of cloud seeding

Cloud seeding is the attempt to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls from the clouds. This is done by dispersing substances that serve as cloud condensation or ice nuclei into the air. It alters the microphysical processes within the cloud and helps in increasing the rainfall.

In the late 1940s, Nobel Prize winner American scientist Irving Langmuir and his colleagues discovered that dry ice, when dropped from an aeroplane into a supercooled cloud deck, caused a rapid conversion of water to ice, leading quickly to the production of snowflakes and dissipation of cloud in the region. They also discovered that silver iodide had same nucleating property.

Later, another method for stimulating the precipitation has been found by injecting salt particles near the base of the cloud to provide centres for droplet formations. After these discoveries, many experiments have been carried out all over the world.

The most common chemicals used for cloud seeding today include sliver iodide and dry ice. The use of hygroscopic materials, such as salt, is gaining in popularity because of some promising research results.

Indian initiative

The first attempt at cloud seeding in India was made in 1952 by S K Banerjee, then director-general of observatories, India Meteorological Department. According to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Banerjee used hydrogen balloons and salt and silver iodide.

The IITM conducted cloud seeding experiments over different parts of the country between 1963 and 1973. The areas covered include Rihand catchment in UP, Thiruvallur in Tamil Nadu, Linganamakki in Karnataka and Mumbai.

The IITM also carried out randomised cloud seeding experiment over Baramati during the period 1973-86. The results showed 24% increase in rainfall.

The 90s witnessed many advances in airborne instrumentation, radars, flares and software.

Cloud seeding programmes with modern technology have been carried out by the governments of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra in the years 2003-05 with scientific consultancy of the IITM. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has carried out cloud seeding during the monsoon season this year.

When conducted in operational mode, it is not possible to delineate the contribution of the seeding to enhancement of rainfall due to the inability of separating the component of rainfall that would have occurred naturally from the same clouds.