The deadline to complete de-silting Storm Water Drains in the city is December 2019.
By Shubhangi Mathur
Less than half the storm water drains (SWD) in the city have been desilted since 2017. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) de-silting project is expected to complete all 440 kms of drains before December 2019; they have only finished 200 km.
Silt and sewage in these drains are the main causes of the inefficiency. The SWD department of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), responsible for the maintenance of these drains, however, blamed the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) for the adverse condition of the drains.
The Assistant Executive Engineer of Storm Water Drain, BBMP, Santosh said, “Around Rs. 40 crore has been allocated for the de-silting project of SWDs. The BBMP is doing its job but the BWSSB discharges the sewage into the drains. Hence, it becomes impossible for us to maintain the condition of these drains.”
“BWSSB lays their pipelines in the way of the storm water drains and illegal debris dumping causes interruption in the route of the water,” he added.
The 840 kilometers of SWDs are designed to remove the excess rainwater from the city to avoid flooding. Out of which 440 km are primary SWDs while 400 km are secondary SWDs.
After the 2016 flood conditions in Bangalore, government launched a project a year later to de-silt the storm water drains to avoid such conditions in the future.
People are often troubled by the inconvenience caused due to excess rains. Astha Jagetia, who lives in Bangalore said, “Various parts of city getsflooded if it rains heavily. The government is taking no initiative to solve the issue.”
Experts say that the unscientific way in which the city is growing is the main reason behind the issue. Dr. V Ramesh, HOD of Civil Department in Rajarajeshwari College of Engineering said, “The government is turning a blind eye to this matter. The land close to the SWDs is usually encroached and used for construction.”
He says that the BBMP’s claim that BWSSB is responsible for the adverse condition of drains is merely a blame game. “This is just an excuse that BWSSB is disposing sewage off in the SWDs. The main reason of the inefficiency of SWDs is because of the land encroachments in the area.”