Bengaluru Buzz: Restored lakes remain dry | Engineers warned to fill potholes by Nov 10 | Plea to redraft SWM bylaws..and more

WEEKLY NEWS ROUNDUP FROM BENGALURU

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Sewage still flows into Rachenahalli lake though it was restored couple of years ago. Pic credit: Wikimapia

Rains don’t fill up “rejuvenated” lakes

Though BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) has restored as many as 75 out of the 150 lakes under its purview, most of these remain dry in spite of heavy rains. BBMP officials admitted that lakes cannot depend solely on rainwater.

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Sewage inflow coupled with the absence of sewage treatment plants (STPs) in the rejuvenated lakes, garbage dumping in the lake bed etc have led to further deterioration of lakes. BBMP officials said that lack of coordination among government agencies and paucity of funds also hampered rejuvenation efforts.

Most rejuvenated lakes are now dry except in Benniganahalli, Garudachar Palya, Devarabeesanahalli, Cholanayakanahalli, Yediyur, Iblur, Somasundara Palya, Haraluru and Kempambudi.

Rachenahalli lake is an example of rejuvenation being ineffective. BBMP, with the help of citizens, had revived the lake just a few years ago, but did not maintain the lake or stormwater drains around it. During heavy rains, sewage still enters the lake and floods the roads.

Source: The Hindu | Bangalore Mirror

Contractors, engineers warned to fill potholes by Nov 10

Mayor Gautham Kumar has announced stringent penalties for engineers and contractors who do not fix potholes by November 10. He said he had written to all MLAs and councillors to work with engineers to identify and fill potholes.

Kumar said he would inspect roads starting November 2. Contractors have to fill potholes during the defect liability period of three years. Contractors who don’t fill potholes within the deadline would be blacklisted, and engineers would be suspended, Kumar added.

The Mayor’s announcement was in response to complaints aired by councillors at the BBMP Council meeting. Councillors urged the Mayor and BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar to tackle potholes on war footing. On October 22, both Mayor and Commissioner had declared November 10 as the deadline for pothole filling.

Meanwhile, Whitefield residents fumed at the shoddy pothole-filling work of BBMP in a Twitter storm. They complained that instead of repairing potholes, BBMP only filled them with stones, which turned out to be more dangerous to commuters.

BBMP started pothole repair works on Friday after the rains eased up. Though the civic body has not surveyed potholes, it estimates there are 15,000 in the city.

Source: The Hindu | The Times of India | The News Minute

Plea to redraft SWM bylaws

The voluntary group SWMRT (Solid Waste Management Round Table) urged BBMP to redraft the Solid Waste Management (SWM) bylaws, saying it undermines the Karnataka High Court’s directions. The bylaws focus only on collection and transportation of waste from bulk generators through outsourced contractors, and this would bring back contractors’ monopoly, SWMRT said in a press release.

The bylaws suggest that upto 35 percent of waste would be landfilled. But this would violate the SWM Rules of 2016, which had prescribed zero landfill, said the SWMRT. Besides, this may create legal sanction for landfills, the group fears.

SWMRT member Sandya Narayan said she was disappointed that BBMP did not conduct discussions with stakeholders at the pre-drafting or post-drafting stage of the bylaws. It was in August that the civic body notified SWM bylaws, and sought objections and suggestions from the public.

Source: The Hindu

Launch of bus priority lane postponed to Nov 15 

The full-fledged operation of bus priority lane on Outer Ring Road (ORR) has been postponed by a fortnight, to November 15. C Shikha, Managing Director of BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation), said that BBMP had been unable to complete infrastructure works for the lane due to rains.

Bollards, signages and other infrastructure are being installed on the 17-km route. BMTC, BBMP and other agencies had been conducting a trial run of the lane on the ORR stretch between Silk Board and Tin Factory. The ambitious project is expected to be expanded to other parts of the city in time.

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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