Bengaluru

Renewed interest in waste segregation and rainwater harvesting

A resident struggling to save his belongings during the recent rains in a house at Koramangala 4th Block. One of the main reasons for the inundation was storm water drains being choked with mixed waste.

A resident struggling to save his belongings during the recent rains in a house at Koramangala 4th Block. One of the main reasons for the inundation was storm water drains being choked with mixed waste.   | Photo Credit: V Sreenivasa Murthy

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Rethink by citizens follows the recent floods in various parts of the city

After the recent spate of flooding in several parts of the city, many residents have woken up to the need for implementing rainwater harvesting and waste segregation. One of the main reasons for the inundation was storm water drains (SWDs) being choked with mixed waste.

In Ramamurthy Nagar, residents will soon install a large one-tonne composting unit to handle waste from a group of apartments. “If it is successful, we will extend this to other areas as well," said Anand Prasad, a resident and member of the civic group Bengaluru Water Warrior.

However, residents pointed out that in the absence of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), inundation will be remain a problem every time it rains. "The major issue is that the Bangalore Development Authority has planned for layouts without considering the number of STPs needed," said Ramesh Reddy, a resident of Koramangala 4th Block.

Although Bengaluru generates nearly 1,400 million litres a day (MLD) of sewage, it has the capacity to treat just 700 MLD.

Interest in rainwater harvesting

According to Mr. Prasad, many apartment dwellers had shown interest in rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems after the recent spate of rain. "However, the same cannot be said of houses which have been given on rent, as the owners have no incentive to conserve water," he added.

In J.P. Nagar, quite a few residents plan to install RWH systems. “At an individual level, several residents have installed RWH systems this month,” said Somayyaji, member of J.P. Nagar 4th Phase RWA.

Principal Investigator, Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology, A.R. Shivakumar, said that help desks at Jayanagar and at IISc. have seen a rise in the number of queries on RWH in the last month. “We get around 20 requests daily,” he added.

However this awareness has not spread to everyone. "We conducted many awareness drives among residents living in low-lying areas affected by rains this year, but several residents seem to think it is the BBMP's responsibility to fix all their problems," said Mr. Prasad.

Another suggestion by residents is to place RWH systems in gutters. Ramesh Reddy, a resident of Koramangala 4th Block, explained that it is difficult for those who had built up to their boundary walls to accommodate RWH pits on their plots.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 3:00:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/renewed-interest-in-waste-segregation-and-rainwater-harvesting/article19693714.ece

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