Bangalore Environment Trust Newsletter, January
Sat, 03/03/2007 - 19:55 — admin
KOAPA takes active part in helping
Bangalore regain her glory
Karnataka Ownership Apartments Promoters' Association (KOAPA)
together with SWABHIMANA has set up a Joint Action Committee for
the beautification of Bangalore. It all began with KOAPA, in the
presence of A. Ravindra, Commissioner, BCC, spontaneously
promising a sum of Rs. 1 crore as a contribution towards this
Many developers have come forward- and taken up numerous
commitments for the improvement of our beloved city. This has had
a snowballing effect and the total contribution now stands at a
figure well past the original Rs. 1 crore. At a time when the Real
Estate Market is on a low, this effort on the part of builders and
property developers is indeed praiseworthy.
Some of the major projects to be taken up under this initiative
are Jogger's Park at Cubbon Park, development of some roads on
Build and Transfer basis, installing Pay and Use toilets,
beautification of many traffic islands and pavements, etc.
It is hoped that other Corporates and Citizens will also join this
initiative to help Bangalore retain her sobriquet as the "Garden
FKCCI pitches in to save Bangalore
BANGALORE: As part of the private sector initiative to bring back
beauty to Bangalore, the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of
Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) is setting up an infrastructure
corporation, which will monitor civic amenities like roads, water,
electricity and garbage clearance.
"We cannot be mere spectators to Bangalore's decay. Instead, we
should take proactive part in the city's development to give it a
better vision and outlook. We should not remain completely
dependent on civic bodies," FKCCI president-elect D. R.
Srikantaiah told The Times of India.
The corporation will have a corpus of Rs. 10 crore with Rs.5 crore
equity. The rest will come from financial institutions. The kitty
is expected to go up to Rs. 40 crore in a phased manner through
firm allotment to various corporate bodies and other agencies.
FKCCI as promoter will play a pivotal role in the execution of the
concept. The process of identifying promoters is presently on. "We
will be roping in all like-minded entrepreneurs committed to the
cause in which other governmental agencies, Bangalore city
Corporation and NGOs will also be involved."
Corporates and entrepreneurs who wish to contribute their mite to
the society, will be asked to put in their capital as the
corporation will be functioning on commercial and professional
basis in order to provide value for money for investors.
"The return on investment in various programmes which will be
undertaken will be weighed in terms of benefits that will accrue
to society." Mr. Srikantaiah noted. People at the grass roots
level will be actively involved to ensure success of the
programmes. Various bye-laws and other charter of incorporation
are being worked out for the corporation, which is expected to be
launched early next year.
It will be a totally autonomous and independent institution
providing for full accountability and run by a board of persons of
high integrity at the helm. "As corporate who have made wealth
through profits, it becomes incumbent that we give a part of it
back to the people and society at large," he added, "Instead of
clamouring from the roof top that the city has gone to dogs,
Bangalore can certainly take a cue from cities like Surat and
Coimbatore. That is what FKCCI has done by setting the ball
rolling," Mr Srikantaiah added.
Some Futuristic concepts for
augmenting/improving water supply and sewerage in Bangalore City
Among the many infrastructural shortages in Bangalore the shortage
of water is, perhaps, the most alarming. While we can continue to
hope that some day the roads will be repaired, garbage will be
collected systematically, new sources of energy may be invented,
it is not realistic to hope for an increase in rainfall. We must,
then, find ways of making our normal amount of rain-water go a
A few months ago the BET Newsletter carried a note on how every
house/building could collect, store
and re-cycle rain water to the maximum advantage. The architect,
Mohan Bopaiah's careful sketches would enable even a layman to
organise the kind of plumbing system which could make many houses
self-sufficient in terms of water. Architects and builders could
adapt the system to suit their particular conditions. Our water
problem would be well on the way to be solved if we could enforce
a law which demanded that all buildings must have their own
water-collecting and re-cycling systems.
This would be as it were at the level of house-owners at the city
level, the chairman of the BWSSB has prepared an excellent scheme
for conserving and thus augmenting the water supply, and at the
same time making the city clean. We print below Mr. Sharma's
paper. It is something which should be studied and put on the
agenda of every institution which is concerned with Bangalore is
Harvesting of Rain water in Bangalore City:
Bangalore City now covers an area of more than 350 Sq. Kms. Large
quantity of rain water falls in this area and is drained out
without being utilised. In-situ harvesting of this water can
provide an excellent, chief source for augmentation of water
supply to Bangalore.
Most of this rain water is drained out of the City through major
storm water drains. Many BWSSB and private sewer lines are emptied
into these drains and large quantity of sullage water is also
flowing into these drains, polluting the water. By making
alternative arrangement for such sewage and sullage water inflow,
the quality of water can be considerably improved.
These storm water drains carry water to the tanks located in the
surroundings of Bangalore City. If these tanks are converted into
GLRs and treatment plants and pumping stations are provided, water
can be treated and supplied to the City at a very low cost.
Most of these tanks are shallow and by deepening them and water
proofing them large area of water spread will become available for
locating the treatment plant and pump house. The head for pumping
will be much lower than the head, which has to be overcome with
the existing sources. Alternatively, treating stations can be
located on top off tanks.
On account of the proximity to the City as well as the low head
for pumping, this project is bound to be cost effective.
Moreover, in future, existing sources of water supply to Bangalore
are bound to prove inadequate and new sources have to be
identified. This can be one such important source.
For implementation of this project, major storm water drains and
the tanks connected to these storm water drains will have to be
handed over to BWSSB for proper management and the amount being
spent on construction/maintenance of these drains and tanks, has
to be transferred to BWSSB by the concerned authorities.
Improving the inflow from Arkavathy:
Hesarghatta and T. G. Halli are the historical sources of water
for Bangalore City. In recent past inflow in both these reservoirs
has been reduced. A detailed survey of the catchment areas of
Arkavathi and Kumudwathi rivers proved afforestation and soil
conservation measures may improve the inflow, reduce soil erosion
and improve the environment in the catchment areas. On account of
these attributes, it should be possible to attract external
funding for such project.
Converting waste into wealth - sewage to be transformed into a
revenue earning resource:
Presently only 30% of the sewage is being captured by BWSSB lines.
A big project can be launched to capture the entire sewage and by
providing sewage treatment plants using latest technology. The
water of usable quality can be obtained and supplied to relevant
users at reasonable cost. The -solid/ waste can be sold as
fertilizers and many important chemicals/minerals can be recovered
from the consumers. The methane produced can be used for
production of power at low cost.
Incidentally, this will also improve the environment and reduce
pollution by eliminating the sewage which is flowing in valleys at
On account of (a) availability of treated water for re-use, (b)
possibility of cost recovery, and (c) environmental improvement,
it will be easy to get funding for this project.
J P Sharma, Chairman BWSSB
Justice M. F. Saldanha speaks up for
In a recent broadcast Justice M. F. Saldanha spoke about the
sensible and successful way in which Bangalore's water problems
were looked after in the old days.
"For the urban areas, I recommend in the first instance, a
cleansing of all existing lakes, big and small, on a warfooting.
Secondly, I advocate a total restoration of all tanks to their
original condition. Our elders, over the centuries, believed in
basic science, they knew how to collect and conserve water and how
to preserve the environment. What we need is a return to those
As we all know, there is a close connection between tree cover and
water; trees are needed to replenish ground water, as well as to
preserve surface water by preventing siltation of tanks. Justice
Saldanha recently emphasized the urgency of protecting our trees
from the many dangers which threatened them.
"What needs to be done first is to bring to book the tribe of
forest contractors. These persons, who are the friends of the
Forest Dept. and who are keeping the forest officials rich,
possess the equipment, the staff, the money and the political
backing to devastate the forests and get away unscathed. Timber is
so very valuable today that there is plenty of money to go around.
I quote an example of no other place than the state capital
Bangalore City. In 1995 as many as 101 recorded, day light
dacoities took place in the city of Bangalore. Armed gangs
terrorised citizens in broad day light and looted every single
sandalwood tree in the city. 18 of these were from the Cubbon
Park, which falls within the jurisdiction of the Cubbon Park
Police Station - 1 Kilometre from the office of the Police
Commissioner and 1/2 a Kilometre from the state Govt. Headquarters
at the Vidhana Soudha. A little known fact is that during this
period of time all those who owned the remaining few sandalwood
trees has been requested to intimate the Forest Dept. and the
Police so that at least the last of the lot could be protected.
The sad outcome was that in every- case where such intimation was
given, within 24 hours, the gang would come and take away the
tree. Does one need any further proof of the 100% collusion
between the authorities and the poachers. The then Police
Commissioner informed the citizens that not a single one of these
cases could be detected. This is an example of how deep seated
and, all pervading the rot has sunk even at the level of the State
Headquarters. Dealing in timber and forest produce must be
monitored, particularly interstate smuggling and international
smuggling. Recent surveys have indicated that inter-state
smuggling from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to Kerala has been
increasing at the galloping rate of 500% per year. Simultaneously
it is necessary to have a target for reforestation and
afforestation at the minimum rate of 10 million trees per year.
This includes not only plantation of saplings but more
importantly, protective maintenance as far as planning is
concerned. An area by area tree census must be carried out and
periodic inspections done, with deterrent punishments awarded to
any person who damages or destroys trees.
In all urban areas, I recommend that every one of the parks and
gardens be handed over for maintenance to citizen's committees and
that the Horticulture Departments be totally disbanded. Through a
process of private sponsorship, every one of the parks and gardens
can be saved to start with and can thereafter be converted into a
thing of beauty."
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