Roads to the rescue of SWDs

BBMPs plan to protect Citys Storm Water Drains


It is no secret that encroachment of SWDs is responsible for flooding, as most of the 200 plus km of drainage lines in the city has been encroached upon. Even some of the bridges and flyovers (City market flyover) have been constructed over them.
In a bid to prevent further encroachments, the BBMP has plans to construct roads over the drainage at the cost of  Rs 900 crore.

BBMP officials now await for government’s ‘in-principle’ approval to begin their detailing of the project. Once the approval is sanctioned, they can complete the Detailed Project Report (DPR) in three months, they say.

However, some experts opine that the project is not feasible. It will further increase the flooding in the City, says Dr T V Ramachandra, senior scientist, Energy and Wetland research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc.

Maintenance
Being feeders to the lakes, the SWDs need to be free from silt and garbage choking them. The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), which maintains the drainage, washes its hand off as the sewage opens up at the mouth of SWDs.
The woes multiply here as the SWDs are maintained by two departments within the BBMP. While one department should clear the silt and garbage, the other department is responsible for clearing it from the surface. If one completes its work, the other department delays it and the silt removed from the drains returns to the SWDs after some time.

Solutions
Dr Ramachandra suggests that the encroachments should be cleared immediately and the BBMP should immediately demarcate the places and entrust the jurisdictional police stations with the task of preventing encroachments.
Experts have also called upon the citizen forums to alert the authorities about any encroachment of SWDs.

Proposed, disposed
A 25-km road was planned on the drainage to provide dedicated lanes for light vehicles during the tenure of J C Lynn, former Home and Transport Secretary in the early 70s. The project was abandoned considering the accumulation of silt. Another proposal to construct link railways was also planned by erecting pillars in the drain to feed arteries. Even as the proposal failed to make an impact, another such proposal surfaced during the early 2000 and disappeared before it could make an impact.

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