A BBMP-BWSSB tussle looms large over drains

Lack of co-ordination between civic bodies hinders development

Ramamurthynagar in KR Puram constituency provides an excellent example for lack of co-ordination between civic agencies. The Palike asphalted few roads in Ramamurthynagar which had been sanctioned underground drainage (UGD). Residents were furious when they learnt that BBMP wanted to take up work after UGD was sanctioned and staged a protest, preventing the work from taking place.

"We protested very strongly as we knew that few engineers and contractors had struck a deal and wanted the work to go ahead as the cost of tax payers’ money. Many contractors fought with us and complained that they were deprived of work," said Anjanappa, a social worker in Ramamurthynagar.

The protest in turn made contractors to do substandard work. Instead of laying bitumen three inches thick, only one inch was laid, leading to the roads being damaged due to rains, Anjanappa added.

However, BWSSB has already assigned 17 of the 25 package works to contractors to conduct survey work to lay underground drains.

Simultaneously, BBMP's project to asphalt road was long being sanctioned which they are in the process of executing their work. But the lack of coordination between the two agencies is striking.

Clarifying the road works in new BBMP areas, palike's engineer-in-chief A K Gopal Swamy said that asphalting work in new BBMP areas was sanctioned long back and they have already started the work.  "We know about BWSSB UGD work being sanctioned and we do co-ordinate with their officials in the fortnightly meetings.  But if their work is beyond six months, we will go ahead and carry out our work of asphalting the roads," he said.

Lack of co-ordination

Few BWSSB officials too agreed that though there is co-ordination at the top level officers, there was lack of co-ordination in executing their works, resulting in officers working at the ground level often clashing with each other.

However, BWSSB chairman, P B Ramamurthy ruled out any lack of co-ordination as all the officers from BBMP and BDA “are aware about our UGD work in new BBMP areas”. The UGD work in eight new BBMP areas has been carried out under the Karnataka Municipal Reforms Project (KMRP) and there is provision for restoration of road works.

"Laying UGD lines will involve lot of road-cutting and digging work.  Since we have the provision of restoration of road work, we will re-asphalt the roads and bring it to its original form after our work is done," he said.

The UGD work at new BBMP areas is a Rs 1300-crore World Bank project which took off in June 2010 and is expected to be completed by 2013. The project is estimated to lay UGD sewer lines for 1986.734 km and sewer sub-lines for 73.50 km at Yelahanka, Bytarayanapura, Rajarajeshwarinagar, Mahadevapura, K R Puram, Dasarahalli, Bommanahalli and Kengeri.

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