CAG report nails KSPCB, BDA, BWSSB

Last Updated 17 March 2011, 22:16 IST

According to the report for the financial year 2010 tabled in the Assembly, the KSPCB is clueless about the polluting sources. It has allowed a large number of industries to operate without necessary permission, industry units have illegally sprung up in catchment areas and many industries in the BMA have not installed the mandatory emission control system and effluent treatment plants.

As many as 535 industrial units were operating in the BMA without permission and the KSPCB has turned a blind eye. The KSPCB was unable to furnish information as to how long these industries had been operating and quantity of pollutants discharged by them.

A test check of permission granted to 30 construction companies between 2005 and 2010 revealed that seven of them were operating without renewing permission.

Further, about 46 industrial units were operating in zone 3 of Arkavathy catchment area, which is a notified area. Of these, 12 were highly polluting units. Besides, 21 other units were operating in the area, despite the KSPCB issuing the closure order.

The CAG found that the KSPCB issued the Consent for Establishment certificate to five companies during 2007-10, though the firms had not obtained the mandatory environment clearance. The KSPCB has failed to initiate any action against 373 industries that are operating without installing air pollution control system. Similarly, 504 units are operating without installing treatment plants.

The CAG has also revealed that 53 per cent of sewage was being discharged into storm water drains and lakes directly, resulting in their contamination. Moreover, the KSPCB has not been following the prescribed standards in testing air and water samples.

Out of 2,162 industrial effluent samples and 30 air stack samples tested by it during 2008-10, 53 per cent and 30 per cent of effluent and air stack samples respectively, did not conform to standards.

The KSPCB has failed to draw up any concrete action plan to address pollution-related issues. This has led to underutilisation of available funds, the report said.

Tests on water samples from borewells and open wells on either side of four major valleys – Vrishabhavathi, Koramangala, Challaghatta and Hebbal –  found high levels of nitrate, fluoride, iron, faecal matter and total coliform.

BDA helped private firms

Due to faulty estimate and defective billing by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), private construction companies walked away with huge profits. The BDA had in 2008 prepared a Rs 79.84-crore estimate for the construction of a road under-bridge between Mysore Road and Magadi Road in contravention of specifications by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. This resulted in inadmissible payment of Rs 2.66 crore to the company, the report said. This pertained to construction of five km of outer ring road between Mysore Road and Magadi Road.

The BWSSB had been operating its secondary treatment plant at Kadabeesanahalli at a cost of Rs 3.04 crore, though it was not receiving sewage water from the planned areas. The Board treated water drawn from a nearby channel and released the treated water into it, the report said.

KPCL’s tardy progress

The CAG in its assessment of Karnataka’s public sector undertakings has pointed out that Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) failed to complete the scheduled work, meet the requirement for power and also maintain certain power plants during the financial year 2010. The report said though the installed capacity in the State increased from 7,084.80 MW at the beginning of 2005-06 to 10,387.81 MW at the end of 2009-10, the State was not in a position to meet the peak demand. The shortfall, as compared to the required demand, increased from 1,326 MU in 2005-06 to 5,059 MU in 2009-10. Even the purchase of power from private producers could not suffice, forcing the State to impose load-shedding. Though 1,644 MW of capacity was planned to be added by KPCL during 2005-10, the actual addition was only 861 MW, leaving a deficit of 783 MW.

The KERC had forecast (December 2008) peak requirement to be 10,120 MW by the end of 2012. In order to meet this demand, the installed capacity required worked out to 14,913 MW. The projects on hand, however, would add capacity to the extent of 2,053 MW, still leaving a gap of 2,472 MW. 

Of the 10 projects planned by KPCL during 2005-10, only seven were taken up. Of these only four were completed and three were under implementation.

Of the balance three projects, one project was shelved and the other two were yet to be taken up for want of environmental clearance and assured gas supplies. 

*BWSSB incurred Rs 1.15-crore loss without mentioning the price variation clause while procuring galvanised steel pipes

*Report mentions the KHB land scam, involving former minister S N Krishnaiah Setty

*BDA made excess payment of Rs 1.64 crore to a company disregarding contractual provisions and by selecting a different schedule of rates for different items of work.

(Published 14 March 2011, 19:25 IST)

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