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Bangalore Patrol - BWSSB - public interaction

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Have a water problem? Just dial 22238888 for ‘immediate’ help. Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is all set to roll out this service shortly — which is currently in a test phase — said the utility’s chairman P B Ramamurthy, who was the chief guest at the first public meeting held under the aegis of Bangalore Patrol on Sunday at the Bethany High school in Koramangala.

That was one of the highlights of the interaction session. For the full report in the ToI, click here.

In fact, this is what a resident posted on the 'savekoramangala Y-group' the very same day:

While coming back from the TOI/Janagraha Bangalore Patrol meeting on Sunday, I saw an over flowing sewage chamber at the junction of 7th Cross and 8th Main. I called the 22238888 helpline and complained. They sent me an SMS back with the complaint number and said that it would be sorted out within the next 24 hours. Maybe it was the freshness of the TOI meeting that triggered immediate response - but the BWSSB sewage cleaning truck is working on the block at the moment!

Well, well, too good to be true! One only hopes it lasts. However, the general experience with such arrangements, set up by government agencies, have been that they fall apart for lack of a comprehensive system being put in place, to begin with. This lack of a system became fairly evident right from the beginning of the session, with complaints galore, largely of the same kind, from citizens representing every corner of the city.

The most refreshing part was citizens complaining of water theft (largely from public taps), obviously in collusion with the officials, resulting in their being deprived of a fair share. Some (including a Corporator) even came forward to appear as witnesses in case the BWSSB chose to lodge cases against the culprits.

Mr Ramamurthy's responses were far from re-assuring. He gave the same old excuses of staff shortage, budgetary constraints, etc, etc. When I finally got an opportunity and suggested that, since BWSSB admittedly has serious capacity and other constraints to be in a position to do a professional job of managing the water supply, why not outsource it to professional companies, like JUSCO, following the Mysore example, he went on to pooh-pooh the deal, saying it was not working.

Actually, since I don't know better, I couldn't press the point either. Well, I would have liked to add - OK, if not JUSCO, get somebody else. Whatever, we can't continue to suffer you through eternity.  

With the relentless volley of questions from the public, Mr Balram (the ToI editor in chief, who was moderating the show) intervened to allow Mr Ramamurthy to respond. He used the opportunity to smother all further discussions by going into a non-stop monologue covering history, geography, climate change, and some future plans for audit, etc,etc. At a certain stage, when Mr Ramesh Ramanathan (of Janaagraha, who was also on the stage) intervened to request him to spell out timelines, Mr Ramamurthy was just not forthcoming.

Between Janaagraha and ToI, they have done a fairly comprehensive exercise, mapping the current scenario in all the 198 wards - check this. This could be a very useful tool to finding solutions if approached professionally. But, that's clearly where the problem lies.

I, for one, would like to believe that the answer may lie somewhere here

Muralidhar Rao

Comments

chetanta's picture

Distress in Kumaraswamy Layout

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Let me share the pathetic condition and absolute disenchantment of Corporator in KS Layout.

Am residing in 70th cross,14th Main,KS Layout 1st stage and in my road there are lot of Vacant Site which now resemble Mini Forest areas full of Parthenium.

Lot of phone calls have gone to local BBMP ward office to ask the site owners to clear their site but no one heeds to our distress calls.

My 3.5 years old son has slowly started finding trouble in breathing coz of the smell of this.

BWSSB had dug up our road to lay a new sets of sewerage lines but once the work got over ,they left it as it was,now the entire dug up area is filled with mud and during rains the road resembles a terrain on moon.

There is a huge plot in the opposite side of teh road which have been told has been bough over by Vasavi Trust,they have just built compond wall for the entire land and have left it unattended theerafter.Every nite that land has become a playground for anti social elements who use it to drink,do drugs and even bring in prostitutes.

Bars are now being given licences everywhere in the layout and shortly after nightfall,every road has become nightmare for women to walk around.

Our resepected corporator is now busy producing Movies and posters of him as a producer of a perticular movie has sprung up at evry hook and corner of the ward.

Requesting the concerend authorities to immediately take action and save us from our daily miseries.

murali772's picture

welcome, but - -

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@chetanta

While welcoming you to PRAJA, I feel,  you should perhaps have opened a new blog altogether on the subject, since this blog is on BWSSB matters alone.

May be our tech team will do it for you this time.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

JUSCO - MCC deal making fair progress

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121 users have liked.

When asked why not outsource it to professional companies, like JUSCO, following the Mysore example, Mr Ramamurthy went on to pooh-pooh the deal, saying it was not working.

But, on the other hand, it seems to be making fair progress, given the most challenging nature of the job - check this

Muralidhar Rao

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