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The CDP On Storm Water Drains

Chapter VIII of Bangalore's NURM-CDP, on Urban Drainage Systems.

Chapter VIII Urban Drainage Systems
1 Overview
The growing geographic spread of Bangalore and accompanying construction activity has interrupted the natural valley system of the region. Construction has also resulted in filling up small water bodies and low-lying areas. The flooding of drains during each monsoon exposes its poor state and their inadequate capacity, and impacts the City’s overall infrastructure. Therefore, improving the drainage system is a key and critical element in the City’s infrastructure.

1.1 Existing Situation
The City built by Kempegowda, 468 years ago, has a well-developed natural drainage system. Bangalore had more than 400 lakes, interlinked by a system of canals that followed the natural gradient of the land in which excess water from one lake would flow through waste-weirs into the next lake/tank, thereby preventing flooding. This system could be maintained for a long time, through the colonial period, till more recent times. The features of the existing system comprise:

  • Naturally undulating terrain of Bangalore City:
    • Ideally suited for development of lakes that can capture and store rainwater;
    • Each valley at the ridge top gives rise to small streams which cascade down to form major stream systems;
  • Lakes form chains of reservoirs in each of the three valley systems in Bangalore:
    • Flow of the water runs from North to South-east as well as Southwest along the natural gradient of the land;
    • The lakes harvest rainwater from their catchments, and the surplus flows downstream spilling into the next lake in the chain;
    • This connectivity ensured that additional water is continuously transferred to other lakes;
    • The system serves as an excellent flood controller and storage for rainwater;
  • Pipe networks carry the collected wastewater to treatment plants – V Valley on Mysore Road (180 MLD), KC Valley near HAL Airport (163 MLD), and Hebbal Valley on Bellary Road (60 MLD); and
  • Incomplete sewerage systems results in sewage being let out into storm water drains or lakes, polluting the water.

1.2 Key Issues of Urban Drainage Systems
With the growth of the City, the number of lakes has reduced to 64, and small lakes and tank beds have vanished because of encroachment and construction activities. This has resulted in storm-water drains reducing to gutters of insufficient capacity, leading to flooding during monsoon. Dumping of MSW in the drains compounds the problems, leading to blockages. To control floods, it is important to remove silt and widen these storm water drains to maintain the chain flow and avoid water from stagnating at one point.

2 Strategy for Improved Service Delivery

2.1 Characteristics of Sector
Urban drainage has a direct impact on the City's image, citizens' life, and health. If the system does not work properly, it leads to environmental hazards. However, the status is that urban drainage has become a victim of rapid urbanization. Improving the urban drainage system requires not only capital infusion, but also ongoing funding for operation and maintenance. A single point obstruction in a storm-water drain would have a cascading overall impact. Citizen awareness is therefore a critical issue, and citizens and NGOs can play a key part in monitoring development in the region to ensure that drainage is not obstructed, and dumping of debris and MSW in drains does not occur.

2.2 Proposed Implementation Plan for Urban Drainage Improvement
The proposed plan includes:

i) Construction/remodeling/rehabilitation of storm water drains and road side drains;
ii) Removing silting;
iii) Constructing retaining walls;
iv) Laying of beds;
v) Provision of enabling and awareness information architecture; and
vi) Green area development.


3 Project Identification & Costing
The “Valley Projects” as they are called, are the most critical element of the system. Improvement of storm water drainage system and roadside drainage and breaking the interconnectivity of sewerage and storm-water are crucial elements of the project.

3.1 Investment Plan for Urban Drainage Improvement

3.1.1 Projects in Implementation Period

i) Constructing 1,500 km of roadside drains (cost of construction assumed at Rs. 30 lakh per km for a 5-metre drain);
ii) Extension of the SWD network into CMCs and TMC areas;
iii)Clearing all encroachments that come in the way of the storm water drain network in the city;
iv) Aligning the drain network and checking blockage and overflowing of drains;
v) Reviewing existing storm water drains, ensuring connectivity of primary, secondary and tertiary drains;
vi) Redesigning for current load conditions along with building barriers between roads and open drains at crossings; and

3.1.2 Estimated Capital Investment Requirement
Table 52 gives the estimated investment requirement in the JNNURM period,
while Table 53 gives the estimated investment in future blocks.

4 Implementation Framework
One of the critical issues that is to be addressed relates to the fact that inadequate drainage in a particular ULB jurisdiction may not have the impact in that ULB but elsewhere. Coordination and continuity of action between the ULBs is of critical importance.

i) The importance of inter-ULB and Agency coordination:
i-a) Inadequate drainage in a peripheral ULB may impact drainage in BMP areas;
i-b) Improper drainage of BWSSB’s system may pollute the valley system and impact quality of life across the City; and
i-c) Improper roadside drainage and cross-connectivity may similarly impair system performance;

ii) Citizens to be involved to monitor contractor's activity on clearing of drain systems in their area:

ii-a) Citizens who dump debris into storm water drains could be penalized; and
iii) Removing silt to be a regular activity before the monsoons starting with the main (primary) drain.

The City is proposing to have a coordinated action plan to address the issue of urban drainage. At present BMP is coordinating the “valley projects,” and is carrying out the works in coordination with other agencies, facilitated by the GoK.


tsubba's picture

PIL against town planning acts

The Citizens Forum for Mangalore Development has filed a public interest litigation in the High Court of Karnataka challenging the constitutional validity of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act and Certain Other Laws (Amendment) Act, 2004, and the constitutionality of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning (Regularisation of Unauthorised Development or Constructions) Rules, 2007. The Chief Justice of Karnataka has posted the matter on September 19 for hearing. According to a press release from the forum, Amendment Act and Rules are framed in complete disregard to the very purpose and objectives of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act 1964, whose main objectives are for planned growth and development with a view to improve environmental health and decent standards of living. The petition has been filed to protect the right to health, safety and the environment of the common man under Article 21 of the Constitution and to ensure that land use and building violations which are unsafe and would endanger the lives of urban residents are not regularised under the above rules that were notified on August 14. “ It makes an unreasonable classification by treating favourably those who have blatantly violated the law and discriminating against those who have strictly adhered to building norms and regulations”, the release said. The regularisation, for the violation of front setback, will not make it easily feasible for the MCC or MUDA to widen the abutting road in future. That the regularisation would encourage violations in the future is another ground for the forum’s objection. PIL against town planning acts keeping my fingers crossed
silkboard's picture

Just finished reading these ...

... in newspapers this morning. Not surprised at all. We all know the mess, bribe BBMP official either before or after encroaching land or violating norms. And then onwards, its a blame game - who's guilt first, the bribe giver, or bribe taker. Also, on the other hand, you have a drive going on where you can pay a 'fine' and get your building 'regularized' for upto "50%" violations. Knee-deep messes can be resolved via negotiations. But neck-deep ones can only be dealt with using iron hands. The scary thing, which makes it more complicated is that blissfully unaware people who buy properties and apartments sold by these violators and encroacher end up paying the price of huge-inconveniences.
tsubba's picture

choked drains, encroached drains, no drains

Hi parvati, agree... BBMP clears encroachments on storm water drain A spokesperson of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) said that the civic body had demolished the compound wall and the entry gate of The Club, opposite to Rajarajeshwari Gate among other small encroachments. The demolition was to widen the storm water drain from the Nayandahalli Lake which had narrowed because of large-scale encroachments. The BBMP demolished 10 structures in Bhadrappa Layout in Hebbal on Sunday. These structures had come up on the storm water drain leading to the Hebbal Lake and had been responsible for constant flooding in surrounding areas during rains, the spokesperson said. The demolition opened up 600 sq. m. of drain area. He added that the civic body also undertook demolition of encroachments in and around Puttenahalli Lake in J.P. Nagar where heavy flooding was witnessed during the recent rain. City in neck-deep mess pool “On Friday night, we called the BBMP control room only to be told that our layout is in a low-lying area. Why did the BDA and BBMP not address the issue when the layout was formed. The Koramangala Indoor Stadium and the National Games Village were constructed on the Ejipura lake bed. This results in water flowing into the adjoining layouts,” Mr Anil Kumar, a resident of Ashwini Layout near Koramangala, pointed out. We didnt violate norms: Residents These people have constructed the building on a drainage, which is a violation of norms. We issued notices three times and were forced to vacate them and bring down the structures, said the BBMP officials. “As many as 61 houses have been constructed on Rajakaluve. Owners and BBMP officials should be blamed for what has happened. Owners bribed the officials and encroached upon the land. Owners’ allegations against BBMP are false. Before the sites came up in the area, the BBMP had identified space for a drainage. The BBMP officials took bribe and issued permission. Today, those officials have either retired or working in other departments,” said some BBMP workers.
grparvati's picture

choked drains

Sir, This is to state that the rain drains are choked with the garbage dumped in the drains mainly by the scavengers who clean pavements & roads. They simply push the garbage into the open rain drains. This has resulted in rain water stagnation and stench in addition to rodents & mosquito menace. grparvati
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