The poor condition of roads in Mahadevapura, especially near educational institutions, and the lack of response from civic authorities had led citizens to take to the streets on October 18 to demand civic amenities. Following the #MahadevapuraDemands protest, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) undertook an inspection to ascertain why roads, such as Vibgyor Road, Thubarahalli Main Road and Alpine Eco Road, are susceptible to potholes and water logging.
They found that many apartments and gated communities were letting out excess treated water from STPs into roadside drains, which overflow resulting in water logging. This, in turn, causes potholes. Vibgyor Road, in particular, was worse for wear.
A BWSSB official told The Hindu that the water utility had issued nearly 220 notices to various apartments and gated communities in Mahadevapura alone for this violation. “Nearly 50% of the STP water is let into drains,” the official said.
A member of Doddanekkundi Rising, a citizens' group that was part of the #MahadevapuraDemands protest, pointed out that the drain network is not complete in Mahadevapura. “Ideally, the drains should lead to a lake. But due to blockage or incomplete network, the drains overflow and cause water logging,” he said.
BWSSB officials said that any excess should be transported through authorised tankers to designated locations. “Here, the water will be further treated and let into lakes. If STP excess is judiciously reused, there won't be any excess,” the BWSSB official added.
The problem, however, is not restricted to Mahadevapura alone.
Groundwater expert S. Vishwanth said that the supply of water and disposal is the responsibility of the State. “The STP water can only be used for landscaping or toilets. It is impossible for apartments to consume all the treated water. It is a foolish idea for the water utility to transfer its responsibility onto citizens. Ideally, the STP excess should be piped and picked up by the BWSSB at chosen locations,” he said.
Stressing on the need for decentralised solutions, he said the treated water, through a process of wetlands, can be let into lakes nearby. “This can be easily worked out with proper coordination between the various authorities,” he added.