Inspect storm water drains, regularly, HC tells Palike

The High Court of Karnataka has ordered the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to ensure that all storm water drains (SWDs) in the City are maintained well and inspected periodically.

German multinational Bosch Ltd had moved the High Court for removal of pipelines laid by the BBMP on its premises. It has contended that the pipelines take rain water to the Parappana Agrahara tank but return with sewage from Manjunatha Nagara and Veerappa Reddy Layout. The company had earlier made several representations to the BBMP for removing the pipelines. But when the authorities reportedly didn’t take any action, it moved the court.

The MNC argued that the sewer and non-sewer lines should be separate. The BBMP, before laying the pipelines, had said that the pipelines would feed rain water to the drains but illegally allowed the sewerage into the pipelines, which is now polluting the tank, it claimed. But the Palike argued that the land on which the pipeline was laid was revenue land.

Allowing the petition, Justice Ram Mohan Reddy observed, “No new premises can be erected without drains. It is unlawful to erect or to re-erect any premises or occupy any such premises unless a drain is constructed. The drain should empty into a sewer. If drainage facility in the layout is not provided then it is not known as to how the commissioner permitted the construction of buildings, without ensuring the making of soakage pits and in any event if the BWSSB did not provide for such drainage facilities, the residents of the layout could not have drained their sewerage into the storm water drains maintained by the BBMP.”

Justice Reddy ruled: “The Principal Secretary, Urban Development Department, is directed to ensure appropriate measures not to discharge sewerage into the SWDs leading to Parappana Agrahara tank and initiate action against the authorities responsible for it. Also ensure that all the raja kaluves (SWDs) in the City are maintained in good condition, inspected periodically and if any sewerage is drained into them, take steps to block sewerage.”

The court directed the Palike to pay Rs 50,000 as cost to the petitioner by deducting the money from the salary of the deputy commissioner, BBMP, and the executive and assistant executive engineers concerned. “Storm water drains are meant to drain rain water into the water bodies, which if not done, would pollute the environment.”

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