Friday, August 28, 2009

BBMP is all set to make environmentalists happy

BBMP is all set to make environmentalists happy

Greens heave a sigh of relief as the new methodology would help replenish groundwater levels

Senthalir S. Bangalore

It seems that the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has finally woken to the cry of environmentalists on the concretisation of city footpaths. A recent directive from the BBMP to the engineering department says that engineers in all the zones should not use concrete plastering on footpaths. According to the order, if the work on concreting footpaths is underway, it has to be stopped immediately and the new initiative has to be adopted.
"The use of concrete on footpaths reduces the moisture at the ground level and water does not percolate into the ground. Scientifically and ecologically, concreting footpaths has to be stopped and new directions have to be followed," said BBMP Commissioner Bharat Lal Meena.
Henceforth, no concrete should be used for constructing footpaths. Instead, slabs or any other material that would help retain the moisture should be used.
While constructing shoulder drains on the roads, instructions have been given to engineers to develop percolation holes at the centre and at the end of the drain. Making percolation holes at the end of every 50 metres on road ends has also been made mandatory now.
It has been ordered that by the method of machine cutting, perforated concrete slabs should be placed after every five metres on the granite stone slabs used on footpaths.
Environmentalists feel that it is important for rainwater to percolate into the soil. In order to enrich the groundwater level, the system has to be strictly implemented, they plead. However, Leo F Saldanha, coordinator of Environment Support Group (ESG) said that this is a form of corruption. Earlier it was only BBMP that concretised the roads and footpaths but now they want to dismantle and start a new initiative. It is commonsense that trees should not be suffocated, he said.
Naveen KS, another environmentalist said that it is important they start the work at least now. "About 90 % of rainwater goes joins the sewage water due to concrete or tar road. Such an initiative would help in enriching groundwater level," he said.

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