Here’s why the Koramangala valley stinks


A survey of 10 km of rajakaluve has revealed a dirty truth: 538 homes have been discharging untreated sewage into the stormwater drain

A recent survey of the Koramangala valley by a team of officials from different departments showed that at least 538 houses were discharging untreated sewage into the storm water drain (SWD) for the last 30 years. Don’t be fooled by the number. The survey covered a 10 km area, while the City has over 800 kms of primary and secondary drains.

Conducting a survey along the drain — which apparently is the first one in decades – was however not an easy task for the officials. The found most of the people living in unhygienic conditions, in small sheds next to the drain. Many houses were packed together in a small area that officials are now wondering how to lay the underground drainage lines, connecting each house. The survey was conducted between Shantinagar and Bellandur.

“There were slum-type pockets along the 10 km drain. The houses, located on the first lane, were connected to the drain. There are thousands of houses behind the first lane. But there is no space to even build the drain network unless some people let us construct it under their sheds,” a senior Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) official said.

He said that the Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar had directed the BWSSB officials to build the UGD

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line and provide connections to these houses without taking any fees. “The new UGD line will benefit about 4,500 houses. We will start the work shortly,” the official added.

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The survey was conducted following National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order in a case related to rejuvenation of Bellandur and Varthur lakes. The NGT had directed Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and BWSSB to survey the entire Koramangala and Challaghatta valley to identify buildings that are discharging untreated sewage. This would help in ensuring no sewage enters the lakes.

Officials had decided to stop water and electricity connections to the 538 houses if they do not stop discharging untreated sewage into storm water drains. “I have interacted with the dwellers and convinced them to allow sanitary connections to the UGD line. They have agreed. These houses were letting sewage into the drain as nobody from BWSSB had ever spoken to them, ” NR Harris, MLA of Shantinagar said.

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It’s learnt that the government is planning to conduct similar surveys of all storm water drain networks to identify similar discharge of sewage.

Experts and lake warriors too have been asking the authorities to focus on ensuring that storm water drains do not carry sewage instead of spending crores of rupees on making cosmetic changes on lakes every year.



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Sagar Biswas

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