Agencies join hands to tackle water contamination

B.S. Ramesh

Plan drawn up to provide clean drinking water in Bruhat Bangalore area

Survey has cited flow of untreated sewage for contamination of groundwater sources Industries and high-rise buildings may be told to set up their own STPs

BANGALORE: In what could be described as the first coordinated effort of its kind, all the civic agencies of Bangalore, including the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and other government agencies have joined hands to tackle contamination of groundwater sources and also the issue of recycling water.

These agencies, along with the departments of Forests and Ecology, Health and Family Welfare, Urban Development, Revenue and Municipal Administration, have come up with a time-bound short term and long-term plan to not only contain contamination of groundwater sources, supply clean drinking water to scores of villages and towns in Bruhat Bangalore area, but also enforce the law against those who violate norms on setting up water treatment plants.

Drinking water

A survey of the villages surrounding the four valleys by KSPCB blamed the flow of untreated sewage by industries and big establishments for the contamination of groundwater sources.

It found traces of coliform in all the 161 samples in had collected from 74 sources (borewells) covering 38 villages falling under Bruhut Bangalore.

The agencies have taken up surveys to identify alternative sources to provide drinking water and also zero in on the contaminated sources.

According to official sources, supply of water from four contaminated borewells had been discontinued in Mahadevapura, and in Bellandur the water is being treated with chlorine.

They said four alternative clean water zones have already been identified in Rajarajeshwari Nagar area.

The agencies hope to provide clean drinking water to the residents of villages in the next few months and they all have set deadlines for the implementation of the projects in this regard.


Realising that contamination of water has to be tackled at the source, the agencies have decided to go ahead with a survey to identify apartments, industrial units, commercial units and large establishments which discharge sewage directly into storm water drains and ensure that they install water treatment plants.

The pollution control board has issued notices to offenders and booked cases against them.

The agencies now are thinking of instructing all industries and high-rise buildings to set up their own sewage treatment plant (STP).

The BBMP has indicated its willingness to amend the building bylaws to ensure that industrial establishments and big buildings set up their own STPs.


The pollution control board says it has issued notices to 20 residential apartments with more than 80 units asking them to set up STP and to 162 industries for directly discharging effluents into the valleys.

The BBMP says that remodelling of storm water drains would be completed by March 31 in K.R. Puram, Byatarayanapura and Raja Rajeshwarinagar.

On its part, the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike says 15 packages have been prepared to segregate sewage from storm water.

Besides, the scheme to clean up all the four valleys in Bangalore, including Koramangala and Chellaghatta, would be completed by 2007, it says.

The agencies hope that once their programme is completed, residents of Bangalore and surrounding areas would have access to clean drinking water.

They also hope that the segregation of sewage from drinking water would substantially bring down the contamination of groundwater sources.