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STP at Ulsoor Lake: another deadline goes by

by Kaustav Roy

kaustav.r@iijnm.org

 

Unexpected rains have slowed down the STP construction

Bangalore, Sept. 5, 2017: The Ulsoor lake Sewage Treatment Plant(STP) has failed to meet its first week of August deadline.

BWSSB’s Executive  Engineer Mrs Jayalakshmi B.S. said that the original deadline was April 2017 however due to “operational difficulties” the project had progressed at a slow pace.Mr N.Satish,Chief Engineer at BWSSB(Waste Water Management) said, “The initial work was delayed as the construction required removal of some trees.” He added that the BWSSB has taken special care not to axe too many trees to initiate the project. However, he attributed the current delay to the ongoing monsoon season and the rise in the lake’s water level.

Earlier last year,the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board sanctioned 4 crore after the city’s media reported the death of hundreds of fish in the Ulsoor lake. Ms. Sindhu C N,Assistant Engineer(Waste Water Management) said that the total value of the project is 9 crores which includes 5 crores which would be paid by the BWSSB to maintain the facility for the next ten years. Mrs  Jayalakshmi confirmed that the 2.0 MLD plant construction won’t see any cost revisions this year as the existing maximum contract with the contractor,Eurotek lasts for 12 months.

The Ulsoor lake had for a long time experienced problems with water pollution as sewage directly flowed into the lake said Muniappa, a local fisherman. He also added that the fish catch had gone down in the past few years. The caretaker of the lake, Babu said even though public fishing is illegal, fishing contracts are given out through tenders to fishing cooperatives.He also pointed out that BBMP had in fact built a sedimentation bund in the northern fringe of the lake near the STP to contain and filter the sewage inflow.Mr. N. Satish of BWSSB said this new sedimentation section has nothing to do with the current STP construction and is an independent project implemented by the BBMP.

The newly constructed sedimentation bund at the lake

Navin,a regular visitor to the lake said that the stagnant portion of sewage water might become breeding ground for mosquitoes in the near future.Shekhar Solomon,Prestige Group’s Site Manager at the lake,whose beautification programme is being conducted near the major stormwater drainage on the opposite side of the lake, said that even though they are not  directly involved in the STP programme - they have been working towards beautifying their “adopted” part of the lake. However, he said it was the BBMP’s responsibility to clean up the stagnant sewage.

Dr. T.V. Ramachandra of Indian Institute of Science said that the treatment of sewage at decentralized levels would be the best option considering fish mortality due to untreated sewage and industrial effluents. He added that treating the water before letting it out into the lake (through wetlands) would be a better and sustainable option and the lake will have water throughout the year.

Mrs Jayalakshmi and Mr. Swamy of Eurotek Pvt. Ltd (Assistant Supervisor) said that they are hopeful that the project will get completed by September 30.  She said, “It will take three more months after the completion to make it fully functional, however things can change if unexpected rain takes place.” However, both Mr N. Satish and Mrs. Jayalakshmi mentioned that drainage rearrangements and upgradation to better utilise the STP’s capacity and to treat the existing stagnant sewage are still in the pre-tender stage.

 

 

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