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Covering of storm water drains: Useless and detrimental

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Environment

I've noticed a lot of activity in our locality with the authorities covering the storm water drains in front of houses. These drains for more than 20 years, carried only storm water when it rained and otherwise were quite dry. On an average, they are about 1 1/2 feet wide and about 1 1/2 feet deep.

In the past few weeks, there are concrete blocks being laid above these drains and concrete slabs placed over them. This effectively raised the height of the surface by more than 1 feet above the present level.

By the looks of it, they are even planning to concrete the soil between the edge of the road and the platform formed by the drain covers.

I'd like to ask these questions:

What's the benefit?

Who's going to benefit?

There were absolutely no problems with the way things were. Water never stagnated and small plants grew on the strip of soil between the edge of the tarred road and the storm water drains. The roots of these plants enabled the soil to stay as it was without from being washed away.

The water flowing on the roads found its way to the soil on the periphery and seeped in. The excess was carried away into the strom water drains which ultimately seeped into the earth.

The uncovered drains were not a threat to anyone as they are too narrow and too shallow for anyone to fall into.

There was no flowing water or sewage to attract germs or mosquitos.

By covering the storm water drains, the outcomes are:

1. The effective height of the compound walls of the houses has been reduced by more than 2  feet. It's now a lot easier to scale the compound wall. The result is that houses are now more succeptible to burglars and thieves.

2. By covering the drains, the passage makes an ideal home for pests like rats, bandicoots and cockroaches. Not to mention breeding of mosquitos in stagnant water due to non evaporation as sunlight will not get in.

3. By concreting the soil, the very purpose of the BBMP' s ambitious plans to improve the water table by forcing houses having an area of more than 2400 sq ft. to have a rainwater harvesting system that provided for rain water to seep into the earth is defeated. Why is the government so bent upon covering every bit of exposed soil with concrete?

In summer, the heat of the sun is retained by concrete and it increases the overall temperature of the area as compared to having soil in that area. In short, having soil instead of concrete will check high temperatures

4. How can we plant trees on concrete? Trees often get uprooted due to inadequate soil for a good root system which can anchor the tree to the earth in all kinds of weather.

When a tree dies, that area cannot be used to plant another tree as the roots need to be completely removed which usually never happens. If the rest of the roadside is concreted, where can we plant new trees?

Looking at the mindless slaughter of trees and the alarmingly shrinking coverage of greenery in Bangalore in the recent past, isn't it imperative to consider ways of at least preserving what we have if not increasing tree planting initiatives?

A lot of tax payers money is thus being spent in places where it is of least consequence. Do we not have a right to have a sensible decision maker to oversee these matters?

Comments

minni's picture

i feel every road or street

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89 users have liked.

i feel every road or street should have the following immediately.

 

1. Each road should have a narrow running stretch of drain on either side covered with mesh so that during monsoons there is no water logging and clogging. And also it improves the water tables. In fact these open drains also can be silted and made porous so that all open drains are sources of water percolation to underground levls. Considering the amount of concrete and tarring, rain water is not able to percolate down and thats why water tables have gone down and borewells have gone dry. We need to have this running drain on either side of road to encouage rain water to seep in for healthy water table. Also open drains should have no concrete on the floor so that the rain water that falls in this drain seeps in with the drain water. Water treatment plants and swerage maintenace projects from Siemens can be installed in areas of open drains so they dont smell so badly.

1. An Egovernance site for the street. Any citizen should be able to log in and complain about the state of the building. Whether it adds to the aesthetic value of the street or not. If their compound is badly kept, if their pain outside has peeled off etc. If they make too much noise and so on. People should be allowed to complain anonmyously and it should be encouraged. Then when sufficient negative points against a particular establishment begin flashing the BBMP, BWSSB, and BDA should warn the establishment. Now for instance the Shanit Sagar Group of Hotels their outisdes are very bad and so is Somany Global in Indiranagar 100 feet road. Very bad exteriors. We should be able to make comments on each establishment on each street.

2. A buyer and Seller pool for the street. This is with a futiristic view. If we want signature streets and roads we have to make an effort now. Whats happening today is that our cities are so badly planned, there is a hospital, a post office, a bakery, a boutqiue and a residential building next to each other on the same road. This creates chaos and noise pollution for the residents of the street. Take for instance the 100 feet Road Indiranagar. Who gave them permits to make it commercial. Was not the license given for a quiet residential locality. In view of all this chaos each street should have a buyer pool and seller pool online Each street should be assigned to a developer, a banker and a builder. The street should be evaluated for its commerical, residential or Service value. If the street is fit for service oriented establishments then hospitals, post offices, insurance offices etc should be given license on this street. If its fit for residential only then the roads should be private and honking should be banned. If its commerical basemetn parking should be made complusory. So on. Once the street is evaluated for its residential or commercial value a residential seller can only sell it to another person interested in residing there. Once all residential permits have been obtained the developer and builder swings into action to make it a signature street wtih good facade etc. And energy conservations with green ideas. Similarly for commerical or serivce streets.

 

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