Bangalore Environment Trust Newsletter, January 1998

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 effort.

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 City".


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.

Courtesy. TOI


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 long way.

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 well being.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 present.

    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 greenary

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 times."

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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