Stop concretising drain-beds: IISc. researcher

August 15, 2016 07:37 am | Updated 07:37 am IST - Bengaluru:

The civic body’s penchant for handing over large tracts of storm-water drains (SWDs) to contractors may be doing the city more harm than good.

The contractor-consultant model for SWD development leads to maximising individual gains through concretisation of the channels rather than to ensure proper flow of water, says T.V. Ramachandra, researcher with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.), in a letter to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

Consequently, the researcher says that the SWD estimates could be as high as Rs. 8 crore per kilometre, which was “too exorbitant and waste of public money.”

The letter follows a visit by BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad to the IISc. lab on August 11, during which, he had suggested researchers write to him on recommendations on enhancing capacity of drains in the city.

One of the suggestions put forth by Mr. Ramachandra was to stop concretising drain-beds. Research on the canals around Kaikondrahalli lake on Sarjapur Road has shown that using natural soil-bed (with vegetation and undergrowth) retards the flow of water and also allows for recharging of groundwater. The current model of using concrete drain-beds increases the flow of water as well as quantum of water (as the bed is nearly impervious) by more than 10 times, says Mr. Ramachandra in the letter.

Other recommendations include strengthening BBMP’s legal cell to tackle encroachments and more stringent punishment against encroachers and those dumping solid waste into drains.

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