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Update on Koramangala projects

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Infrastructure
With the Ward Committee's largely dysfunctional (check here), I am appending below my version (gathered from exchanges on various WhatsApp groups, and hearsay - if anyone has more authentic info, they are most welcome to correct me) of an update on various projects in the Koramangala area:
 
1) Ejipura-KendriyaSadan Elevated Corridor:
Apparently, some funds have been released to the contractor (Simplex). But, the work cannot be said to have resumed yet; some random activity is happening there and there. Apparently, at a recent meeting in the presence of the MLA, the Simplex representative refused to give any time-line on the progress of the job, leave alone completion.
 
Also, the original plan had apparently provided for a free left onto Hosur road, involving acquiring of two buildings. But, the Simplex contract does not cover the same (which means piling up of traffic on the top, with nowhere to go). The project proponent group is now hoping to get BBMP major roads division to take this up. Apparently, they will have to get the major roads division to take up the loop coming from Agara side (whenever the army hands over the required land) at the other end too. 
 
One wonders when all of this is going to happen. Worse is the total non-transparency in the goings on, with none of these finding even a mention in the Ward Committee meetings. The tragedy further is that, even after completion, Koramangala residents are going to be worse of for it all, with the narrowing of the carriage-way ( and more imprtantly the foot-paths) below, particularly at the landing/ take-off points. 
 
Meanwhile, an intrepid citizen has started a campaign for converting the elevated corridor to a METRO line, linking Byappanahalli/ Indiranagar and Silk Board - check here. A wild idea one may say; but then, to undo an ill-conceived project (I have explained my position here), perhaps you need such wild ideas, lest anyway you land up demolishing it later, just like you have done in the case of the Jayadeva fly-over. 
 
All in all, don't know where we are headed on this. Meanwhile, mobility within and in & out of Koramangala remains a nightmare. An earlier post of mine in the matter may be accessed here
 
2) 4th block flood-mitigation plan:
This is the project involving a box drain, connecting a "storm-water wet-well" near the Wpro park (where rain-water from Maharaja junction side, as well as perhaps from Raheja Residency side, is expected to get collected) to the Bellandur lake, via a 'siphon' arrangement, passing below the "Seva-in-Action" bridge. The work on this (all along the periphery of the "Prestige Pinewood" project, and beyond) is almost complete, except for the difficult 'siphon' part (going below the Seva-in-Action bridge) - see picture.
 
 
But, with the contractors and neta's purpose served, and since anyway everyone knows that it can only cause more damage than doing any good, I expect it will receive a quiet burial. Net result - a huge amount of tax payers' money literally washed down the drain.    
 
I was told by reliable sources that the consultant had withdrawn from the project. Another resident in the know told me that, when BBMP engineers themselves came up with an alternate plan, estimated to cost just about a crore, they were told that anything less than Rs 20 cr will not pass muster with the powers that be. And, so somebody put through the grand under-ground box drain scheme (an RTI exercise could perhaps reveal more details). An earlier post of mine in the matter may be accessed here.
 
3) 6 ft dia sewage pipeline:
These pipes, seen in the picture, are lying along the Nirguna Mandir layout entrance.
 
 
They are awaiting being buried below the SWD bed - meaning also below the bridges at Seva-in-Action, Maharaja junction, and the one adjacent to Naveen Terraces (and perhaps a few more beyond). They are part of the sewarage system linking a wet-well near Games Village to Belur Nagasandra STP complex (on the Northern edge of Bellandur lake). The length from Prestige PineWood to the STP complex (approx - 2km) has already been laid.
 
In this connection, I chanced upon a note posted by someone in Aug 2019 (perhaps on a WhatsApp group), reading as below:
 
BBMP Commissioner had given a nod to BWSSB lay KC Valley pipeline from NGV till Seva In action. During this project inaug it was mentioned that this Project will only lay pipes inside RAJAKALUVEY bed. Now the  scope is to lay the pipe below the bed of drain. This is what has become a concern for all
 
I beleive that part of drain will be maintained for 3 years, before its handed over to BBMP. Does it mean that the houses permitted on drain periphery, if there is a disaster, BBMP will not be responsible - BWSSB will be responsible? Will they obtain a letter to certify there wont be any disaster while escavation 
 
If in case god forbid something happens, and court stays the work, the 80 ft road sewage issue will remain. Officers and govt come and go, but the mess and damage they create is long lasting for residents. Nobody plans for the future - just to evade clear and present danger. 
 
In 2006 I think the NABARD (Nitin knows better) pipeline failed due to gradient issue  and world bank stopped funding after legal suit asking for correction. Had it been well engineered  the CHALLAGHATTA STP and Kolar supply would have been functional for 10 years now.   
 
Now the same ghatara is used to pump sewage of audugodi, and other parts of kmgl except 3rd block, 1st blk   
 
Right now this AMRUT KC valley  is a bypass wasting taxpayers' money, and also a cause of technical fears. It is certainly going to disturb lives. We are not against development. We want it to be executed the best way keeping future in mind. I might not have a relative or friend in ST bed, but we all suffer together - let's get it right
 
Six ft dia hume pipe from. Passport office till agra is lying defunct below 80ft road  
 
Since then Bellandur is fed with sewage from city market, JC road, Sudhamanagar, Shanthinagar, Wilson garden, Audugodi, Garuda mall, Football stadium, Viveknagar, etc.
 
Expresses clearly the concern we all have, more particularly the high-rise buildings that have come up on both the sides of the SWD.
 
Half the width of the SWD has been filled with earth (as seen in the picture - Maharaja bridge can be seen in the distance) for the earth-movers to move around to transport the pipes and lay them.
 
 
A question also arises as to what will happen if there is a sudden heavy rainfall - will the whole of ST bed layout get flooded once again? 
 
All in all, there is a maze of pipelines and concrete boxes of all sizes and shapes criss-crossing the whole of Koramangala, in the 2ft to 10 ft (and more) layer beneath the surface. The question besides is "what all can be accommodated below the Seva-in-Action bridge?"
 
4) Sewerage system for Temple Trees/ Cauvery layout:
This is a layout of around 150 houses, including a few multi-storied apartment complexes, adjoining the Nirguna Mandir layout. Whereas the Nirguna Mandir layout supposedly already has a sewarage system, the Temple Trees/ Cauvery layout doesn't have one, and the houses are today dependent on individual septic tanks, with the overflow being let out into the roadside drains. The proposal now is to direct all sewage into a wet-well at a "bus-bay" (identified in the Nirguna Mandir layout), from where it is proposed to be pumped to an STP near the Bellandur lake. 
 
The question that arises is "is this a satisfactory arrangement?". For instance, the sewage from S T Bed layout is also supposedly being collected at a wet-well beyond Seva-in-Action bridge, and pumped to an STP. Nobody knows where the wet-well is. So, is there one at all, or is the sewage being let into the SWD below the Seva-in-Action bridge? 
 
As such, why not look at DEWATS (Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems - check here) option, which is based on natural slopes? Also, where can one access a schematic of the entire sewerage system for the area/ valley?
 
5) Maestrikere:
The following note was posted by Mr Vijayan Menon (a few days back on 'Koramangala issues' WhatsApp group), who was among the residents who took the matter upto the Supreme Court to have the area (which had become a debris dumping ground, and was to be turned into an MLA colony) restored as a "kere": 
 
Mestri kere..sorry ..long post..was designed for e groups..too lazy to do a wats app friendly version.
 
a quick update ...think the legal case at least is coming to a close.
 
1.The encroachment in terms of a wall on the village side ...constructed by BBMP itself has been brought down on court orders.
This has not sat well either with some of  the village folks or  some elected reps.
it was a pure real estate play of encroaching government property.
 
There is a feeling that the snail paced progress on reviving the lake was mainly because of this eye by a few to trespass.
You might know that we had earlier stopped a temple construction and squashed a mandapam plan.
 
2.Now that encroachments are cleared and court is fully appraised of the various attempts to encroach ..we have moved to the actual revival plan itself.
 
Some of us had been working with BBMP lakes department (a refreshingly clean and capable outfit).A detailed DPR has been made .This was presented to court today ( we had to practically force its tabling) and now the court has asked for the BBMP for a detailed implementation plan based on the DPR within 1 month.
(Note:this revival plan is essentially to set right the wrongs of the original BDA/contractor/elected rep fiasco .The citizens ..including myself  ..cant really shy away from the blame either.
 
there are still a few hicups to overcome beyond the DPR itself ...namely
 
---an encroachment on the storm water drain on the outward weir side.( outside the lake).The lakes department themselves will be powerless to remove this encroachment,we will have to bring it to the courts notice.This is an important safety issue because if there is a lake overflow at any time..this swd encroachment can cause flooding.
 
--- bwssb issue of sewage still coming into the lake premises thro polluted storm water drain.The current method of bypassing the lake thro those horrible huge pipes is basically robbing the lake of sizable amount of water.
 
---the 7th cross white topping exercise (now on hold) needs to be pushed till lake work is over.There is a lot of work to be done on inlet channels essentially on 7th cross.
 
--the last issue is my own private bugbear...and i will have to accept defeat on this ..cos i seem to be in the minority. Essentially the false segregation of society  by those prison like fencing between the park and lake ..almost like cutting off the village from  rest of koramangala. Beyond the social issue this fence and unnatural bund has created a problem on natural water flow towards the lake and the incongruous sight of 2 walking tracks side by side..one on the lake side and one on the park side..
 
ah well!!
 
I am still to fully understand it all - need to catch up with Mr Menon for the purpose.
 
Meanwhile, it appears the Rs 5 cr that the MLA had got alloted (for what, is not clear), and which allegedly had been diverted to Agara lake (with the BJP government taking charge), has now been restored to Maestrikere.
 
My blog on the whole episode, commencing from 2009, may be accessed here
 
6) White-topping:
Even as the drains and footpaths along the 80 ft road are dug up (apparently in preparation for white-topping), similar work has now started on the 7th cross (Raheja road). When the work was taken up earlier, Raheja association members had met the MLA and requested to call it off, the work being extremely disruptive, as also the road being otherwise ok. The MLA had readily obliged, and asked the officials to stop the work.
 
So, when the Raheja association members approached the officials again, they were apparently told that the jobs have already been ordered out and cannot be stopped now. 
 
The Raheja association members' overall stand was that if any upgradation work was needed, they would rather that it be taken up in a phased manner, after many of the other works, that are going on currently, are completed first. I (who had accompanied them) had added that we would in general prefer road works being taken up along the lines of 'TenderSure', providing for planned laying out of all ultility lines, rather than the 'white-topping' approach, where the roads tend to get dug up in weeks/ days, after laying, for attending to uitlity line repairs.
 
An earlier post of mine in the matter may be accessed here
 
All in all, total lack of transparency, and only some crony citizen consultation, if there is any at all. Not a saisfactory state of affairs.
 
Muralidhar Rao

 

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