Bellandur Buzz – STP wars, BBMP reorg, Black spot removal attempts and more!

Bellandur Buzz Issue # 31

Date: 13th March 2015.

This fortnightly newsletter is published by the citizen group

Meeting with KSPCB

Recently, a new apartment complex in Bellandur ward was suspected to be laying underground PVC pipes for its treated sewage which allegedly led to the newly rejuvenated Kasavanahalli lake. This sparked off a heated discussion about KSPCB norms and the lack of options faced by apartments for discharging their treated sewage.

As per the current KSPCB rule, apartments more than 50 units are required to have a functioning Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). KSPCB imposes a zero discharge policy where apartments are mandated to have an STP and are required to use all of the STP treated water within the complex itself for gardening and flushing toilets. This policy is nearly impossible to adhere to in an urban scenario where gardening space is very limited. On the other hand, dwellings with less than 50 units are not required to have an STP and they have to discharge untreated sewage in the underground drainage (UGD) lines. In Bellandur and outskirts, we do not have UGD lines. In addition there are many apartments which are unable to consume all the treated water and are forced to drain their treated sewage water into natural valleys. Many lakes are being rejuvenated in Bellandur-Sarjapur road area and the idea of sewage contaminating these beautiful places is hearbreaking for the citizens who have toiled towards their rejuvenation.

Many citizens from Bellandur ward plan to meet with Dr. Vaman Acharya, Chairman of KSPCB on 20th March, 3 pm-5:30 pm. The agenda is to have a focused discussion on whether it is okay to let excess treated waste water into lakes, new ponds, shallow recharge structures and what safeguards should be in place to ensure that this is done responsibly and does not create any adverse effects.

Residents planning to attend this meeting are advised to collect and keep the water quality output reports of your STPs (including Nitrates, Phosphates, dissolved oxygen) as this will make the conversation even more fruitful. There is also a plan to share the reports with the KSPCB upfront.

Ibblur lakeside park tree planting drive

Rotary lakeside had a special tree planting event on March 8th at the Ibblur lakeside park that they have been maintaining for a while now. State Transport Minister Sri Ramalinga Reddy graced the occasion with a brief visit and promised to help fund fencing of the park periphery that joins the Lake and toilets for public use. Representative from MAPSAS (The trust which is in charge of maintenance of this lake) presented a detailed update to the Rotarians on Ibblur lake sewage management and plans for developing it with BDA and BBMP help. So far Sewage treatment plants have been failures at various lakes in Bangalore. They are usually high maintenance and therefore tend to break down letting sewage in. In lieu of the conventional STPs, bio-remediation is a viable alternative suggested by MAPSAS for sewage treatment without incurring high maintenance costs. The Rotarians have assured full support in this endeavor. The MAPSAS represenative was invited to the next rotary meeting to make a presentation on immediate opportunities for Rotary to participate in the lake renovation.

Update by: Subramanian Sankaran

BBMP Restructuring Public consultation, Mahadevapura

Bellandur citizens participating in the public consultation

Over a hundred citizens gathered at the BBMP office in Mahadevapura for the public consultation on restructuring BBMP. The 3 members of the committee – Former Chief Secy B S Patil, Former BBMP Commissioner Siddhaiah and V Ravichandar listened to around 150 citizens present. 

Many citizens talked about ensuring accountability, transparency, alignment of jurisdiction, inter-agency communication, citizen participation in decisions etc. Some other points include an annual review of BBMP works and performance linked compensation(!), 5 year term and direct election for mayor, lack of development in the newer areas/110 villages area etc. Some of us from Bellandur Forum shared some points discussed in the forum, including:

– BBMP’s crippling debt

– The issue of funds and authority devolution at the ward level to create an effective ‘urban village’

– Dealing with shared/common resources between the different units like KCDC

– Handling limited resources like water. 

– Cost of restructuring and whether any RoI study will be done.

Update courtesy: Meera K

Soul kere black spot removal

On March 1st, a bunch of citizens got together to clear the black spot at the entrance of Soul kere from Maruthi nagar. While BBMP was clearing garbage from the spot for the last few days, it was getting spolied everyday due to dumping of garbage from the nearby houses. Unless the garbage pick up from these homes was segregated and streamlined, there was no hope for a sustainable solution. The volunteers approached many residents living near the lake and distrbuted segregation kits, explaining to them the process of segergation. BBMP contractor was informed to collect segregated waste and refuse collection of mixed waste.

However, few days after the clean up, the spot was dirty again. It was found that BBMP contractor was irregular and many citizens stopped segregating. This is still a work in progress.

There is a long way to go yet…

Soul Kere black spot remains.

Upcoming Events –

Kasavanahalli lake tree plantation drive – Saytrees, 14th march

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