The Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB) has issued a notice to 497 properties in the city, for releasing their untreated sewage waste directly into the city’s Storm Water Drains (SWD) instead of the BWSSB sewer lines. The properties range from residences to business establishments.
Deccan Herald reported that several apartments, including Pebble Creek and Brooke Enclave on ITPL Main Road, Chaitanya Prestige Shantiniketan on Whitefield Main Road and Gopalan enclave on ECC Road, are on the list of violators. Shree Chaitanya Techno School in Mahalakshmi Layout, and several paying guest accommodations on Ambedkar Nagar are also major violators.
Chief Engineer of BWSSB Kemparamaiah told The News Minute, “East Zone has the highest number of violators. Almost half the number of properties which have allowed sewage to run into the SWDs are in the east zone. There are 276 properties in one zone which have been sent notices. Most of these are independent houses and not apartments,” (sic)
The move of sending out notices to violators comes after the National Green Tribunal’s directive to the State Government to set in motion a time-bound action plan that will end the contamination of run-off rainwater in SWDs. The list of violators has also been sent to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board
What Is The Violation?
The identification of violations was preceded by a circular that was sent by the engineer-in-chief Kemparamaiah. The circular said, “The BWSSB has provided a drainage network in the city and despite that, some residents are flouting norms by letting sewage directly into open drains and polluting lakes. This clearly violates sections 66 and 68 of the BWSSB Act 1964, Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act 1976 and Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act 1974.”
It also carried a warning to potential offenders, “We have decided to prosecute the offenders. All cases will be referred to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and criminal cases will further be filed under Section 133 of the CrPC,” he said.
What Are Stormwater Drains And What Do They Mean To The City?
The SWDs or Rajakaluves are water management systems for the collection of excess rainwater that runs off the road. The purpose of SWDs is to save the runoff water and also prevent the flooding of roads. This water is routed to the nearest water body. Since the collected water is not treated, it is more likely to carry pollutants along the way and therefore keeping this channel pollution-free is of paramount importance.
The Logical Indian Take
Historically, the SWDs have been prey to aggressive real estate and in some cases converted into public garbage dumps. This must change. Citizens must adopt a more pro-active approach and be more mindful about how their waste is managed. Before making a real estate purchase, it is necessary to understand how the property’s waste is managed and if the property has been built over a stormwater drain. It’s time we become more conscious of our waste trail.
Also Read: From Garbage Dump To “India’s Largest Floating Island,” This Bengaluru Lake Is In Limca Book of Records