Decentralising treatment: spare old buildings, please

Decentralising treatment: spare old buildings, please

The grand plan to decentralise waste water treatment has run into rough weather, with apartment residents opposing it for multiple reasons. The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) finds itself on the backfoot, finding it impractical to impose the rule retrospectively.

Here are some voices from the ground opposed to the plan that all residential group housing projects as well as apartments with more than 20 units should mandatorily instal sewage treatment plants (STPs).

Space constraint is an oft-quoted reason. Jasmine S, secretary of Ajanta Apartments, notes that the building is very old and the area, very small and confined. “It is practically impossible for an STP to be set up in the area. But we have been asked to pay extra fine for the same,” she laments.

Due to lack of an STP, the apartment dwellers had to pay a fine of Rs 15,000. “We are an apartment of 40 houses. We had given a request letter to the BWSSB in November to inspect the area. There has been no response from their end. The government bodies are not ready to help us,” says Jasmine.

Jagdeesh R, manager of Lakeshore Manor in Ulsoor, has this to say: “The building we reside in is very old. We will have to break the water pipelines of each house to implement the new rule. The building is also weak. The entire process is so inconvenient for the residents.”

He agrees that the STP is a good idea. “But it should be set up in buildings that are still under construction. Asking apartments with more than 20 houses to have their own STP is unreasonable. We too have submitted a petition against this,” says Jagdeesh.

The treasurer of Skyline Golden Rays Apartment Owners’ Association, Gayathri N notes that their building of 24 units is too small to set up a STP. “We find the rule very unreasonable for smaller residential apartments. The STPs are not just big, they are also very expensive. We hope the BWSSB will exempt us from the rule.”

According to Satyadarshini Sharma, secretary of Bindiya Residency in JP Nagar 6th phase, the process of setting up an STP unit is long and tedious. “We have asked for some extra time from BWSSB and hope that the government is a little more sympathetic towards us.”
In the words of Kiran K of Nandimanomay residence, smaller apartments should get exemption. “Firstly, the area where these small apartments are built is very confined and compact. There is no place for any addition in the building unless you increase the area of the building,” says Kiran.
He is also concerned about the huge inconvenience. “Even if smaller buildings also agree to set up STPs, residents will have to face so much trouble. The entire waterline of the building has to be reworked,” says the long-time apartment dweller. The consensus among residents is to amend the rule so that it is applied only to buildings that are planned and still under construction.

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