The sight of clearwater lakes is certainly a thing of the past for Bengaluru residents. In the absence of a sewage network at many places in the City and due to weak sanitary lines, more than 42 per cent of the total waste water generated from households is getting into the lakes.
This means the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is able to treat only 720 million litres per day (MLD), while the City generates about 1,240 MLD of sewage.Largely considered as a home for sewage, industrial effluents and weeds, the lakes in Bengaluru have lost their original importance.
Dr Arbind Kumar Gupta of Save Bengaluru Lake Trust observes that the Board has not managed the underground drainage (UGD) system and sewage treatment plants (STPs) properly.
“All the lakes are polluted and stormwater drains (SWDs) are full of sewage only because the BWSSB is not doing its work. The Board is responsible for the dirty lakes”, he said. Thippeswamy, former BWSSB chief engineer, said that the low-quality pipelines are not able to manage the excess flow of sewage, due to the change of land use pattern with multiple-house concept. As a result, SWDs are full of sewage, thus creating environmental hazard.
The Board is not punishing anyone as per the law, he added. Ramakrishna S M, BWSSB chief engineer (waste water management) admits that the Board could not set up UGD system and enough STPs to treat waste water in proportion to the growth of the City over the years. At present, about 1,400 MLD of water is supplied to the City in addition to around 300 MLD of water that comes from borewells.
To treat the excess sewage, the chief engineer said that the B#oard has initiated the process to set up 20 STPs with capacity to treat 655 MLD of sewage.
This, he said, would at least take four years. “The work undertaken in City Municipal Councils (CMCs), one Town Municipal Council (TMC) for ten STPs of 339 MLD under Cauvery State IV, Phase II will be completed in two years,” he said.He said that the Board has proposed four STPs (55 MLDs) at the upstream of Bellandur lake with funds from the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme and State Pollution Control Board. We have also sought mega city loan to construct STPs to treat 300 MLD of sewage.
All these projects will be completed in four years, he said and added that the STPs in 110 villages will be taken up with loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency.
DH News Service