Thursday, July 29, 2010

Water contamination rampant

Water contamination rampant

BWSSB has not responded to outbreak of diseases
Water contamination rampant
Sangeetha Samuel

Like many wards in the City, now preparing for the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) elections, the erstwhile Frazer Town, now renamed as Pulakeshinagar, is also plagued by acute water crisis.

Alongside beautiful parks, old Gulmohar trees, Sepian Victorian houses, and broad roads, Pulakeshinagar also has to deal with underdeveloped wards which require immediate attention and upgradation.

Although the main roads of Pulakeshinagar are relatively clean, “irregular” garbage clearance is the bane of the bylanes and streets of the ward. Despite being the hub of a number of eateries, regular and systematic garbage collection has been undermined.

Drinking water contamination is another problem which erupts in pockets of DJ Halli, Kaval Byrasandra and Sagayapuram. Pulakeshinagar, one of the oldest areas in the City, was established with smaller water and drain pipes catering to a few houses in the Cantonment areas.

However, as the area developed fast into a residential hub, the replacement of the water and drainage pipes did not keep pace with the growing population. This has been one major reason for the rampant water contamination leading to outbreak of diseases during summer.

Muthuswamy, a resident of Pottery Town, points to another lacuna: the lack of a good general hospital for citizens below the poverty line. “There is an old government maternity hospital in Pottery town in a dilapidated condition. It would help the entire residential pocket in and around S K Garden, Tannery Road, D J Halli, if the old hospital is renovated as a general hospital,” Muthuswamy said.

Ratnamma rued that drinking water is available only once a week, for two hours, in Sagayapuram. “Most of the time, women have to get up at 3 am or 4 am to fill water. If we miss water during the early hours, we will have to buy drinking water. In summer, water scarcity gets so worse that we end up spending nearly Rs 1,000 a month just to buy drinking water.”

Other problems facing the ward are the slow pace of road-widening projects, inability of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to provide drinking water and thereby pushing residents towards illegal water connections in D J Halli, Sagayapuram and Kaval Byrasandra; lack of proper garbage collection and disposal. These have made the ward’s residents vulnerable to diseases such as chikungunya, typhoid, malaria and stray dog menace.

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