Residents pick holes in BWSSB mandate on sewage plants

Residents pick holes in BWSSB mandate on sewage plants

Difficulty in installation of sewage treatment plants (STPs), poor functioning of STPs and pollution of water bodies were highlighted by apartment dwellers at a panel discussion here on Saturday.

Issues related to STPs and implementation of dual-piping as mandated by BWSSB came up for discussion. Organised by the Bangalore Apartments’ Federation (BAF), the event witnessed participation of apartment dwellers and representatives of residents’ welfare associations, along with experts.

The dwellers raised objections to the BWSSB mandate issued in March last year. As per the mandate, all apartments with 20 or more units should instal STP and dual-piping system. The apartments come under the mandate irrespective of the year of construction.

Terming the mandate impractical, Ananth Kodavasal, an expert in the field of waste water management, said, “There are safety issues in addition to the huge financial burden to implement STP. Apart from this notification being impractical, the incremental benefits are negligible. Also, tens of thousands of STPs across the city could pose environmental hazard.” Mathew Annie from Century Park apartments, Richmond Road, said space constraint was a major problem in the installation of STPs.

Prof T V Ramachandra from the Centre of Energy and Wetlands Research Group, IISc appealed to apartment dwellers to do their bit by making sure that existing STPs function effectively. “They should come together to find innovative ways by which treated water can be collected centrally and reused, rather than letting it out into stormwater drains.”

Online petition

BAF has started an online petition on change.org appealing to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to reverse the rule for installing the STP, irrespective of the year of construction of the apartments.

They also want a rollback on the 300% water tariff hike, targetting apartments. BAF said, so far, they had received 2,500 signatures. Ramachandra said the polluted Bellandur and Varthur lakes could be revived on the lines of Jakkur lake, by constructing wetlands with shallow algal ponds.

He said Bellandur lake receives about 460 MLD of water daily, out of which 440 MLD is untreated water of BWSSB and 20 MLD is released by apartments.

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