Bengaluru Buzz: Limiting water usage | Model Code of Conduct for polls … and more

Other news of the week: 500 MLD shortage every day, Blue and Yellow Metro Lines to be linked, and no fine for late payment of March power bills.

Limits on using water

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has drawn up some guidelines to celebrate Holi on March 25th. While the festival can be followed in households or in public, potable water for any such event cannot be used. A rain or pool dance should not be organised for monetary gains and Cauvery or borewell water should not be leveraged for the event, said BWSSB Chairman, V. Ramprasath Manohar.

However, several hotels are selling tickets for pool parties.

Meanwhile, it is mandatory for bulk water users to install flow restrictors or aerators by the end of the month. Bulk users in malls, commercial establishments, apartments, government offices, hotels, restaurants and religious places need to install flow restrictors or aerators.

The Board will supply only about 50% to bulk users who fail to install flow restrictors. Violators will also be fined Rs 5,000.

A number of citizens are reluctant to implement rainwater harvesting (RWH) due to the infrastructure involved. BWSSB data shows that 1,96,591 residential buildings have implemented the system but 39,213 buildings have not, even though since July 2016, many users have paid fines of Rs. 1.98 crore to Rs. 2 crore for non-implementation every month.

While new residents have complied with rules to prevent their building plans from getting cancelled, the older owners are reluctant. Under new rules from March 15th, people will not be allowed to drill borewells if they do not have RWH systems.

Source: The Hindu, Economic Times, Indian Express

Read more: Gaps in BWSSB data, public scepticism: Why rainwater harvesting is not popular in Bengaluru

500 MLD shortage every day

The city faces a shortage of 500 million litres of water per day (MLD), said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Currently, it requires 2,600 MLD for drinking water and industries, of which 1,450 MLD are being pumped from Cauvery, while 650 MLD are from borewells. There is enough storage in Cauvery and Kabini rivers, with 11.02 TMC stored in Krishna Raja Sagara and 9.02 TMC in Kabini.

A worrying issue is that 6,900 of 14,000 government borewells have dried up. An expert committee will be formed to examine the shortage. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the BWSSB will be held responsible for any further lag. About 1,700 water tankers are available. Water from private borewells, including from malls, are supplied to affected areas. Meanwhile, the government is drilling borewells at 313 areas and taking measures to revive 1,200 borewells.

Siddaramaiah outlined the hope from the Cauvery Five project, which will begin in June. It will be able to cater to 110 villages, which were added to the municipal corporation in 2006-07.

Moreover, water ATMs or water dispensers, which are purification or RO (reverse osmosis) plants, function from early morning to late evening at various wards. Cleaned every month, each plant supplies 20 litres for Rs 5. The local MLAs give funds and erect the plants for affordable, clean drinking water.

Even though the BWSSB promotes the use of treated water, about 50% of the sewage treatment plants (STPs) do not follow the National Green Tribunal (NGT) rules and have not been upgraded. Experts do not encourage filling lakes with secondary treated water, which the BWSSB had proposed to improve groundwater levels. Experts warn that filling lakes with secondary treated water would pollute groundwater and lead to health problems.

Source: Indian Express, The New Indian Express, Deccan Herald

Model Code of Conduct for polls

A number of BBMP centres are being set up to monitor the model code of conduct (MCC) for the Lok Sabha elections. Helpline 1950 will receive complaints. Chief Commissioner Tushar Girinath, also the district electoral officer, checked out the Media Certification and Supervision Cell, Control Room, Transport Cell as well as Election Expenditure Cell in the head office. The Scrutiny Cell will keep an eye on news reports and advertisements, while another cell will monitor news channels.

Chief Election Officer Manoj Kumar Meena met representatives of national and regional political parties and outlined the methods of campaigning that could be taken up. He asked representatives to enroll people, check names and create awareness.

Many apps such as cVIGIL have been created for candidates and citizens to seek information. Complaints can be registered or 1950 can be dialled for help. Voter Helpline app can be used to check voting details, apply for a voter ID or make changes. Suvidha is another app created by the Election Commission to file nominations and get clearances. The apps are available on Android platforms, while a Know Your Candidate (KYC) app can give details to bring in transparency.

Source: Deccan Herald, The New Indian Express

Read more: Video explainer: How effective is the Model Code of Conduct, really?

Linking Yellow and Blue Metro lines

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) will set up a travelator and walkway to connect commuters between the Yellow Line and Blue Line as part of its Phase-II projects, said officials.

It is the first time that a travelator will be introduced in Namma Metro. The Silk Board junction will have two bus stations, designated pick-up and drop-off bays, three ramps and multi-level parking infrastructure in collaboration with the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation.
Representative image. Moving walkway in Changi airport. Pic: Wikipedia/ZKang123

Another 18.82-km metro line will connect RV Road with Bommasandra in the Yellow Line. It will begin commercial operations by the year end. The metro route will stretch 16 stations and intersect with the Green Line at RV Road Station and the Pink Line at Jayadeva Hospital Station.

Meanwhile, after getting the Namma Metro elevated corridor, the tech hub of Whitefield is likely to get an elevated suburban rail link from the Central Business District.

Source: The Hindu, The Times of India

No fine for late payment of March power bills

The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) will not levy any late fee or disconnect power supply for March, as the online services of electricity supply companies (escoms) were not available due to upgradation of IT systems from March 10th to 19th.

As March 20th had been the due date for most consumers, there were long queues outside Bescom offices. Yet, they were not able to pay due to technical glitches. Many consumers found it difficult to pay their bills even on the following days of March 21st and March 22nd, due to snags in the online portal.

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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