The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) had, in early May, started a mass drive to remove silt from manholes in the city as part of its drive to tackle flooding that occurs every monsoon. The original plan was to cover 1.2 lakh manholes across the 198 wards in the city, and the project was to be completed within a month (May-end).
However, a month and a half on, the ambitious project appears to be flagging, having missed the deadline. Now, the Water Board has drastically slashed the target from 1.2 lakh to 35,000 manholes, aiming for a June-end finish as the southwest monsoon has already set in.
A BWSSB spokesperson told The Hindu that during the course of the exercise, it was observed that not all manholes required silt removal as it was only the last few in each area, especially on the slopes, that were choked.
Hence, a change in plan was initiated according to which only manholes on the end of such roads would be cleaned.
In May, the BWSSB managed to clean about 17,000 manholes, and will aim for the same number this month. By bringing down the numbers, it can manage the entire operation with the available manpower and material, said the spokesperson. “It reduces the financial burden too. Each day, we are covering one big ward or two small wards,” he added.
T. Venkataraju, BWSSB Chief Engineer (Maintenance), said one round of silt removal was already over in several parts, mostly in low-lying areas, and the programme had produced positive results.
“Wherever it has been done, we have found it has facilitated free flow of water, thus reducing the chances of overflowing,” he said.