Expert also says not to close stormwater drains with concrete slabs, BBMP tells HC

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The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Thursday told the Karnataka High Court that the process of covering stormwater drains (SWDs) with concrete slabs was stopped after the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) issued a direction, on April 2, 2019, to all local bodies, including the BBMP, in this regard based on the National Green Tribunal’s July 2018 directions in a case related to drains in Haryana.

While clarifying that it had not taken any view from experts on the issue but only followed the KSPCB’s directions, the BBMP said that it has now obtained a technical view from M. Inayathulla, a professor of University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering, Civil Engineeing Department (PG-Water Resource Engineering), Bangalore University.

These details were submitted before a Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S.R. Krishna Kumar, during the hearing of a PIL related to deaths owing to people falling into drains during heavy rain.

The technical expert, after visiting certain SWDs, has given a report stating that covered drains are vulnerable to choking and accumulation of silt, leading to flooding.

The expert also pointed out that removing silt becomes difficult and drain-cleaning works get adversely affected when the SWDs are covered.

The report also indicated that illegal sewerage outlets, which are connected to the SWDs, go untraced in covered drains and monitoring surface flow through shoulder drains to main drains is difficult in covered SWDs.

Open SWDs help in aeration of sewage and increases the self-cleaning capacity of drains in urban area, and annual maintenance of SWDs is difficult or cost ineffective in case of covered SWDs.

Meanwhile, the BBMP also submitted details of the instances in which concrete slabs were to be demolished, in Peenya industrial area and a few other places, to clear the stagnated silt that had blocked the flow of water during rains.

While directing the BBMP to submit a report on the progress of the removal of silt and covering drains with chain-link fence, the Bench adjourned further hearing.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 8:46:28 PM |

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