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Garbage dumping in S T Bed layout storm water drain

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Public Health

The storm water drain passing through the S T Bed layout (Koramangala) has been notorious for the stink it spreads all around, largely because it's not storm water that flows down it, but plain raw sewage. Now, while the local residents have repeatedly been bringing the matter to the notice of the powers that be, they have been told that the rectification is a herculean task, since it's a phenomenon not peculiar to this drain alone, but to all of them across the city, and that the job can be attended to only in stages. Accordingly, they have been noticing issuance of tenders, now and then, and some work going on, too. But, very clearly, the problem is not getting solved, and the impression one gets is that it's become a cash cow for the neta-babu-contractor mafia for going on exploiting to serve their vested interests.

Now, as if all of that was not bad enough, from some two months back, the residents have been noticing systematic and large scale dumping of garbage into the drain. It's obviously being done by contractors, and it should not be difficult to identify who's doing it, and thereafter, taking steps to prevent it. But, apparently, the powers that be see in it another opportunity to milk - contract for clearing, re-building the damaged walls, etc! And, the residual garbage, that cannot be cleared readily, is then burned, which being largely plastic causes to emanate most toxic of fumes, posing a fresh health hazard. Also, very likely, the cleared garbage, which is piled along the edge of the drain, gets pushed back into it, for the next cycle of clearance, alongwith fresh piles of garbage, making for jobs for contractors on an almost permanent basis.

Not surprisingly, this is of a piece with what has been going on in Koramangala from long, as evident here - fancy Eurocon tiles for footpaths, Rs 8 cr beautification work of a lake restored at about Rs 2.5 cr, 4-lane highway to nowhere, etc, etc.

The residents are now beginning to ask if this is what they are being charged the much enhanced property tax for. One went on to add "I wonder if it would be possible to compute the amount of money supposedly spent on SWD repair, remodelling, reclamation, dredging and whatnot at least over the past 5 years - money that has clearly and literally gone down the drain".

What they want is citizen-centred development, and not contractor-centred development.

Pictures below tell the tale more vividly.

Muralidhar Rao

1) start


2) pile up


3) burning


4) residual garbage


5) contractor at work


murali772's picture

Does govt/ BBMP have a plan at all ???

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A resident who was observing the recent attempted clean-up, commented - "There are Beds, Bean Bags, Tubelights, Car Seats, Packaging Materials along with heaps of plastic covers, plastic plates and other things - - till now what is removed is not even 1% of what is accumulated".

It's obvious then that it's the contractors themselves who are engaged in the dumping. Their argument may be as to what else they can do when the government does nothing to sort out the issue on a broader basis.

Indeed, what's the government/ BBMP doing?

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Is there a government here?

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R Prasad has been staying in Koramangala Srinivagilu Tank (ST) Bed area for over 17 years but this is the first time he and his family are being troubled by houseflies and mosquitoes.

"The stormwater drain opposite my house has been choking with garbage for two months now. Along with sewage, there's all sorts of trash in it. Swarms of houseflies and mosquitoes keep invading our houses," says Prasad.

- - - Rajendra Babu, president of the Koramangala ST Bed RWA, said the area MLA visited the site and a BBMP chief engineer too turned up but there was no follow-up action by other officials. MLA Ramalinga Reddy had another story to tell. "It was cleaned a day after the complaint was lodged. Garbage had accumulated because of rain. Within six months, all the work of building and cleaning stormwater drains will be completed," he said.

BBMP chief engineer (stormwater drains) Sidde Gowda said, "About 10% of the garbage has been cleared. From Monday, work will resume and all waste will be cleared by the weekend."

For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here.

Strangely, nobody is talking of prevention of dumping. Well, there's no contract in that approach, right?

Every thing in the city, nay state, is broken, except the mechanisms of the various mafia confederations to milk the system. There's no governance whatsoever.

Muralidhar Rao
blrpraj's picture

@murali - why ask if there is a government

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Why ask if there is a government?  Yatha praja tatha raja (note that the saying differs from the actual saying yatha raja tatha praja). I have deliberately said yatha praja thatha raja... since after all, Indian citizens go on to join the govt and become the is not that someone from an alien land comes and becomes the government.

That being said; Indians are the undisputed champions of  filth, corruption, pathetic urban planning and inability to follow any system. THAT is the root of the problem. Maybe, may change in 50 or 100 years; but certainly not in our lifetime. There will be pockets of improvement like clean railway stations, clean and well maintained airports but that is a very minute speck in the grand scheme of things.

Cleanliness, civic sense and the culture of following rules & a system must be imbibed into our very DNA and should come from the house & should be compulsorily taught at school. Instead of this, our govt and people are busy advocating sanskrit, yoga; fighting over beef ban; fighting over language etc.


murali772's picture

scope for large contracts apparently decide plan of action

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A friend sent the following information that he had got hold of, pertaining to the SWD works:

"the work order for construction of RCC retaing wall of SWD in S T Bed layout is worth Rs 16.5 crores; of which, excavated earth to be conveyed out of S T Bed is 16,590 cuM (appx 3318 lorry loads), estimated cost - Rs.47 lakhs. And, total estimated cost of re-modelling 4 valleys SWD's is Rs 1,000 cr".

Now, in the first place, if the SWD's were carrying only 'storm water'(which is what they are meant for), concreting of the walls and bed is totally the wrong thing to do, since it'll prevent percolation of water into the ground, during the dry seasons (helping re-charge the acquifers), and the reverse flow during the monsoons. But, apparently, there's far more money in going about things this way, and it thereby becomes the preferred choice of the neta-babu combo - forget the acquifers drying up altogether, the flooding during monsoons, the unbearable stink all through, apart from the SWD's turning into breeding grounds for dengue/ malaria transmitting mosquitos and rodents.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

ultra-mega wasteful projects

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Part of the Rs 16.5 cr project, of the overall Rs 1000 cr (for the 4 valley's), I guess, mentioned in post of 19th July (scroll above to check).

Whether for such wasteful work, or for the equally wasteful steel flyover (check here), there's never any shortage of funds, it appears.

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