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Storm Water Drains

Hello Friends,

An innovative technology is now available in Bangalore (imported from Australia) which will solve storm water drainage problem once and for all. The technology hghlights are:

1) Does not require any dreging of existing drains
2) Provides point of source solution - no need for water to be 'taken away' somewhere. All water collected from storm water run offs will be treated and infiltrated where it falls
3) No maintenance whatsoever!
4) Entire system to be provided as underground solution leading to all drains being covered - can plant grass and other shrubs or use it as roads/ pathways
5) Ausralian Company willing to take up entire drainage re-modelling / improvement system on BOOT basis whereby BBMP would not have to shelve out large sums of money up front. They will invest on their equipment and installation costs and will charge BBMP an annual fee (based on final length of drainage being awarded for such remodelling) for 20 or 33 years. Sovereign guarantee supported by Bank Guarantee is required as Australian Company not willing to risk political vagaries and new Government rescinding on agreement.

Have been trying to pass this message on to CM, Mr. Katta Subramaniam, Mr. Ashok and BBMP Chairman, but have received no response whatsoever. Any ideas of how to give a "wake up" call to the authorities that be?



murali772's picture

We want right solutions - not just plain business proposals

Covering storm-water drains, in my understanding, is never the right thing to do. Why people want them covered is because it's rarely storm-water, that's flowing in the drains, but raw sewage. And, that's what needs to be tackled, and on a war footing. Once that's done, nobody will want them covered any more. And, with the right kind of land-scaping, they will add charm to city, like they do in any number of European cities.

Unfortunately, the BBMP is today encouraging hoarding contractors to place the hoardings in such a way as to block the sight (not the stink, though) of the drains while crossing them over a bridge.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
RKCHARI's picture

Storm Water?

Hello Mr. Rao,

Further to my email sent a little while back, if drains are carrying sewage, where does storm water run offs go? Do we all not pay betterment charge to BBMP to lay sewage lines underground? And is it not the constant complaint of people that the underground sewage lines are too close to water pipelines and on several occassions water from the sewage pipes have got mixed with cauvery water pipes contaminating drinking water?

The reason why open drains stink is because Bangaloreans invariably dump their daily household garbage in the open drain. Bacteria grows with the warmth of sunlight and photosynthesis takes place leading to algae and growth of other more dangerous bacteria. World over there is no open drain system. Are they all not following what is healthy?



Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Australia or California?


Extract from home page of *:


.....* is a California (USA) based company (with offices in Michigan, USA and Bangalore, India) whose mission is to offer the most innovative and state of the art energy saving, resource recycling and automation products sourced from all over the world and offered to clients under one umbrella of supplies and services.

They also have a number of rain water harvesting and other solutions:


But in your above post to Praja, you have mentioned:

"An innovative technology is now available in Bangalore (imported from Australia) which will solve storm water drainage problem once and for all.

Excuse me if I have got it wrong because * does not have even a branch office in Australia.  This post is only to seek clarification.

By the way, in Bengaluru, we have our Zenrainman, who may be contacted.

- Vasanth Mysoremath


zenrainman's picture

Stormwater management

An article that I wrote which i thought would be relevant for this discussion 

Storm-water management– The new paradigm 

Consider an undeveloped plot of land in a city. A fairly level empty site with no construction on it yet. When it rains on this plot, depending on the intensity and volume of rainfall, this is what is most likely to happen. 10 % of it will runoff as storm-water, about 90% of it will be absorbed by the soil but only about 10% will infiltrate and percolate to become groundwater, 80 % of it will most likely come up through the soil and either evaporate or evapo-transpirate, being taken up by the roots of plants and trees and sent out into the atmosphere through the leaves.

Now consider the same site with construction on it. The situation will dramatically change. Of the rain falling on the site 90 % will run-off as storm-water, about 5 % will evaporate or evapo-transpirate and about 5 % will infiltrate and percolate into the ground. This 90 % run-off now races to low lying areas quickly, overwhelms the drainage system and causes urban flooding with disastrous consequence to life and property.

The double whammy comes from the fact that urban areas are also prone to increased rainfall in volume and intensity because of the heat island effect, where the crust of the city such as roads, pavements and buildings absorb heat and radiate it into the atmosphere causing temperatures to go up and for the rain clouds to fall more and faster.  

Solutions: A source control strategy will look at two major methods called retention and detention. Retention is to store storm-water. Since most storm water comes from individual sites, these sites can act responsibly to retain or detain the water. Retain is a more permanent affair while detention means a temporary holding of the water before its release into the drainage network.

Retention can be as simple as storing rooftop rainwater in a drum as this house on Hayes road shows. By placing a Rain Barrel of 5000 litres capacity and leading their 200 square metre rooftop rainwater to the barrel they have not only managed to ensure that a 30 mm rainfall does not go out of the house but also that they have additional water ‘straight from the sky’ for their use. Retention can also be taking the rooftop rainwater and storing it in sump tanks.

 Detentions are slightly different affairs. Detaining waters is easily done by making recharge wells and leading the rooftop rainwater into them. They will gulp close to 6000 litres to 10,000 litres in a day and ensure that the water goes to the aquifer than to the storm water drain. Some of the water may emerge as base flows but some may completely go to make up the underground water table. Typical recharge wells in the Bangalore context are 3 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep.

Detaining structures can also be placed in the storm water drain or adjacent to it, thus picking up and recharging storm water.

With simple steps from individual homes and apartments to either store rainwater or to recharge it , it should be possible to manage urban floodings. It is my opinion that a combination of simple technologies would be better than a foreign technology which is centralized in approach

Rainwater harvesting rules help facilitates storm water management, provided they are designed and implemented with care. Cities which seek to manage water harmoniously can avoid floods and augment there water supply through these retaining and detaining structures instead of investing huge sums of money to build large storm water drains, difficult to maintain and wasting a precious resource. The choice is ours and we must make wise decisions now. 

idontspam's picture

Transparency in problem/solution

 While I agree companies and individuals tend to promote solutions they have, we must remember there is a ton of expertise and solutions out there that needs to be tapped into. We cant have BBMP engineers thinking they know it all. There has to be a structured way of defining the problem and opening up the solution document to various options with a benefit analysis on each one. If this is transparently managed by a neutral comittee and open to solutions from across the globe then you will get the best of breed. And we DESERVE the best of breed.

I cant believe solutions from the same set of people in the same closed room is going to give a different solution than we had for so many years. It is important for administrators and city workers to admit they are not supermen but also go out and get solutions instead of admitting and sitting back.

The key again will be to pilot some of these in select areas at the vendors cost and see if it really works. 

§§§ Tweetenator

RKCHARI's picture

* & *

Dear Sir,

I am glad you visited *'s web site. As you have rightly mentioned, *, a California incorporated company promotes "most innovative and state of the art energy saving, resource recycling and automation products sourced from all over the world...."

Consequently, what * has done is to find out which company in the world has the most efficient and cost effective technology (in this case in water management including storm water management), checked out their efficacy and claims of harvesting 100% rain and providing 98.7% pure drinking water, ensuring 0% runoff etc, and after the technologies are passed through our own set of bench marking, we bring it to places where the company who invented the process does not have a presence.

Similarly, we represent solar lights from Florida in America, also solar panels from China, solar screens from Holland and home automation from Australia.

Thank you for introducing me to Zenrainman. I have also read their comment. While in substance they are correct, we believe we score on following points:

1) we offer turnkey solutions, tailor made to the situation - either for an individual villa on a 40 X 60 sq.feet plot or for mega township development. We believe no one else does that;
2) We harvest 100% rainfall from the entire catchment area (not just roof tops) and ensure zero % runoff. We believe no one does that;
3) We offer 98.7% drinking quality water which no other RHW system offers. Being able to supply drinking quality water we are exempt from Customs duty being levied on our imported products - hence we are also cost effective.

We hope this clarification would suffice for the time being.



RKCHARI's picture

I substantially agree with

I substantially agree with your analysis Sir.

However, I do not think in this globalised world, we need to stick to our much vaunted indigenous availability of solutions as compared to something that is "imported". If importing a useful methodology does not cost anything extra because we provide drinking quality water and are thus exempt from Customs Duty on all imports, and if there is really no company in India offering the same level of sofistication, what is the harm in promoting the "Armani" quality versus the "Khadi" quality? If people are happy with Khadi quality, we have no problem. What we offer is only an alternative - not the only solution.



murali772's picture

the real challenge

Dear Mr Chari

I for one believe that even public works such as cleaning up and maintenance of lakes, water supply, sewage disposal, etc (and, certainly public bus transport services and power supply), need to be outsourced to private contractors/ players, as compared to their being undertaken directly by government agencies like LDA, BWSSB, etc. The government agencies should restrict themselves to being the facilitators and regulators. And, to ensure that the works are carried out properly, only reputed players should be enlisted, with decent returns on their investments being provided for under the contract.

Now, many of these activities may not be financially self-sustainable, and they need not be too. In such cases, the expenses whatever need to be met through state/ municipal budget provisions. The problem arises when the babu's try to convert these entities into profit centres, applying business principles picked up from some management courses they attend, but which have very little relevance to their kind of work. I have elaborated more on it         here

A typical example of how not to go about things is the Nagavara lake "privatisation" (Hebbal lake maintenance deal with Oberoi's is a lot different - I'll elaborate on that elsewhere). And, a typical example of how to go about things the proper way perhaps is the JUSCO (Mysore) contract.

So, coming to the subject at hand, a good scheme should always be welcome even if it is slightly costlier, since the cost the city is paying otherwise is huge, and in very many ways. But, the schemes have to be relevant.

Now, just treating the water in the lake without figuring out proper solutions to the various causes of contamination all along the kms of stretches of storm-water drains, is just a lot more money down the drain.

That is the challenge before you.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
RKCHARI's picture

Bellandur Lake & Storm Water Drains in Bangalore

Dear Mr. Rao,

Thank you very much for putting the entire issue in the right perspective. I would like to reiterate that my interest is purely based on providing a viable solution - not promote my company. However, it may be noted that the solution and products used in the solution are proprietory items and therefore it would be very difficult to describe the details without reference to either the product or the methodology being suggested. To that extent it would not be 'neutral', but the question is of emphasising the solution than of promoting a product.

I fully agree with you about a holistic approach to solving Bellandur Lake (or any lake for that matter) problem. I understand a private Company has been treating all storm water and sewage water from some areas in Bangalore at Challagatta Treatment unit and sending the treated water into Bellundur Lake. However, Bellandur lake continues to be contaminated by 20 other sewage and storm water pipes entering the lake at different points. What was then the point of getting one portion of the treatment done and leave the bulk of it undone? Why is BBMP paying Rs. 5 million every month for treating the water at Challagata?

The solution I had in mind addresses the entire gamut of drainage - sewage water draining as well as storm water runoffs. There are innovative technologies now available which promotes point of source treatment and infiltration without the treated water needing to "go anywhere".

As an entirely ethical Company, we are not inclined to deal with State government Departments and functionaries to earn a quick buck. If there is a visionary today in Bangalore (Like Kempagowda or Vishveshwaraih) who sees the point of our solution, it would be worth explaing the nitty gritty. I am merely joining the Praja Group to voice my support to the good work hitherto being done and to volunteer to help wherever I can.

I shall certainly bring a dozen or so CDs with our presentation for those who might be interested. I could show the presentation and explain the nuances on anyother day to those who are interested at any other venue.



rfourbuss's picture

Storm Water Drainage

Dear Mr. Chari
Cleanliness starts at Home. True. To keep our house clean, most of us  tend to, at some time or other to throw things outside the window. This could be anything from banana skins to house garbage for a Day. These items inevitably tend to choke the strom water drains. While the authorities like BMP and BDA need to take up the job of Deslitng the drains on a regular basis more seriously, we as responsible citizens also need to ensure that items are not thrown out of the window. With little or no garbage on the strom water drains to ensure smooth flow of the water, this could well be used to percolate and refurbish the groumd water and also as you said there are enough technologies to make the water potable. These technologies are available within india.

The same person who throws a Banana skin out of  the window in India would dread to do that in singapore as the stakes are much higher.

I think it is just a question of implemeting certain policies on a massive scale andcreating stringent system to ensure that people do not clutter strom water drains and lakes. The run off from the strom water drains could also be left into the lakes
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