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Address by Mr. PB Ramamurthy Chairman BWSSB at FKCCI

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 This meeting was held at the cabinet hall of FKCCI Kempegowda Road Bangalore on 22 Feb 2010. The cabinet hall was full. 

The meeting started with an introduction given by the President, FKCCI, who made a reference to “BiPasa” (Bijali Pani and Sadak) as the most important commodity in Bangalore. Sustainable water supply and efficient sewage disposal were of prime concern as 80% of health hazards are due to water borne diseases and unhygienic living conditions. Public participation and well developed community ownership values are the most important issues of the day. 

Mr. Ramamurthy started with a reference to the historical past of Bangalore Water with Hessarghatta Lake and the 1933 augmentation of the TG Halli reservoir. Water supply was managed by City Corporation till 1964, when BWSSB was formed by an act of legislation. It has currently a total manpower of 2223 against a sanction of 3341. 


Population in Lacks





























 Bangalore can boast of 100% metered connections. BWSSB currently has installed computerized billing doing away cash counters. Call centers are being set up for 24/7 service. This is a major step towards e Governance.

 The chairman was however comfortable in the project wherein the Drinking water supply is totally monitored by installation of more than 200 Ultrasonic Flow meters all along the pipeline. This will give an authentic picture of unaccounted (non revenue) water. This is pioneering exercise in the whole country. 250 chlorination plants are there. More than 7 year old water meters will be replaced free of cost by BWSSB.

 Sewerage System

 14 Sewage Treatment plants are there with a capacity which is100% adequate. With new CMCs added 10 more STPs are planned. The STPs at Cubbon park and Lal Bagh are of latest technology standards.



Total Length

> 400 mm dia Sewer Length













 Out of the total 750 mld of sewage about 350 MLD flows in storm water drains. Basically the two reasons are Gravity only mode of flow and Hapzard development. 

Supervision, control and data acquisition (SCADA) system has been introduced in water and sewage treatment plants. 

Trunk Sewerage is below Storm Water drains and the environment action has spoiled them according to the chairman. If the Sewerage lines are ceramic this claim looks strange. The chairman seemed to be convinced it was not possible to make the storm water drains free from sewage water flow. 

Rain Water Harvesting 

RWH is made compulsory for all old 60x40 and bigger dimension sites. However for new sites it is compulsory for 30x40 sites too. Grey water use is already on in Big Apartments like Shobha and others. Grey water is in great demand. New layouts should have there own STPs and dual piping system. The grey water pipes need to have easily distinguishable color code. 

Harvesting Lake Water 

BBMP and BWSSB have taken up 32 lakes for rejuvenation. Main bottleneck is that the Sewage water is being discharged directly into the lakes. This is happening in spite of enough capacity being available for Sewage water treatment. 

Public Interaction 

  1. Current Drinking water distribution strategy from a single point at High grounds is not suitable.
  2. It should be multiple points all along the ring road
  3. The current policy of buying BESCOM power is correct
  4. Bottled Water is not feasible
  5. 103000 bore wells. Own Bore well water charge is towards grey water production
  6. Protection of ground water is now covered by an act
  7. Why should one go to the chairman if the lower rung officers are able to solve problems?
  8. Chairman should visit work spots often.




vaishvittal's picture

Water and a city - documentary

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Not directly related to the above post. But I recently attended the screening of a documentary titled 'Water and a city'. It is possibly the first documentary that has put together all aspects of water-related issues that Bangalore is facing.

You can read a report on the film here http://bangalore.citizenm...

The film puts forth some hard-hitting issues that the city needs to wake up on, including the state government, BWSSB and the citizens.

RKCHARI's picture

Pity they did not allow it to

178 users have liked.

Pity they did not allow it to be an interactive session - or is my understanding wrong? Who wants to listen to Chairman BWSSB blowing his own trumpet when ground realities are totally different?

I am surprised RWH got a poor second compared to grey water "harvesting". Grey water is actually only suitable for use in gardens and for re-use in certain industrial applications. Grey water is not suitable (in most cases) for being used in toilet flush too. Even when being used for watering one's garden, there is always a possibility of foul odour eminating if the treatment process is not constantly monitored.

Harvesting Lake water is quite an absurd idea. We need water in lakes to work as an important part of the eco-system. If we human beings use it up - for lakes cannot replenish themselves except when it rains heavily - what will happen to the flora and fauna besides aquatic life and overall balancing of greenery of the locales?

Perhaps the politicians are hoping that all lake waters will be drunk up by us and then they will be free to encroach upon the dry lake bed lands!

My two penny bit



psaram42's picture

It was hardly an interactive session

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 You are correct Chari sab. Major time was taken by the chairman in narrating historical development of Bangalore water. The main point he was emphasizing viz: “The sewage has to flow in Storm Water drains” was shocking. The irony is that even though there is enough capacity for sewage water treatment available, it is not possible to avoid some of it flowing into the lakes, untreated. 

If it is ceramic pipes that carry the sewage how is it that they are being rebuilt now? The reason may be the sewage discharge is far exceeding the design values. 

The people were supposed to ask some specific questions and not to describe their woes in detail. 

n's picture

It is entirely possible to

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It is entirely possible to avoid sewage flow into the lakes if (mini) treatment plants are built at the discharge points into the lake. Instead of the chest-thumping and hand-wringing, BWSSB would do well to address the problems (easy to pass the buck to SW drains maintained by BBMP). No use building treatment plants away from concentrated (or heavily developed) areas. Mountain has to go to Mohammed ;-)
Regarding replacement of sewerage pipes - variety of reasons:
- older pipes were cast iron. They corrode especially with mixing of hazardous or industrial waste.
- some are concrete; require maintenance.
- any pipe would need maintenance and replacement after the design life is over.
- capacities would quickly run out with the explosive growth in population/industries and tardy investment in infrastructure.
Borewells are not sustainable. Infiltration is the only way to go (RWH being just a small component).
Wonder if Mr. Ramamurthy would be open to a Praja meeting?

RKCHARI's picture

What we had suggested to BBMP

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What we had suggested to BBMP was to treat and infiltrate as much of the sewage water as possible into the ground and to let the remaining, 95%pure water be discharged into the lakes through underground closed swales. No point letteting polluted sewage water being drained to one or more central, inefficient or insufficient treatment units and then that so called grey water being discharged in to the lakes. Nature in the form of pervious soil, enhanced by man made, efficient swale systems is adequate to ensure only clean water gets discharged into lakes. And additionally the fact that the swales are covered would ensure ugly sight, foul odour and accident prone death traps are a thing of the past.

Everyone must have seen or heard about the superb sewage water channels in Paris. The principle we suggest is an even better and improved version!

Anyone listening?


murali772's picture

time servers

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@ psaram42 - "The irony is that even though there is enough capacity for sewage water treatment available, it is not possible to avoid some of it flowing into the lakes, untreated".

In my understanding, though there may be enough capacity empirically (I doubt very much, though), it cannot be used because of the non-availability of power, partly because of the BWSSB's non-clearance of BESCOM bills. Perhaps, we need to carry out an RTI exercise here to call Mr Ramamurthy's bluff.

He essentially comes out as a time server.

And, going through BWSSB's web-site, I couldn't locate any info on RTI Act compliance - matters like PIO, etc, which one thought was mandatory. I don't know how they have got away, so far!

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