Friday, January 15, 2010

Water, sanitation still primitive

Water, sanitation still primitive
Lack of adequate drinking water has led to borewells springing up, but what the people get is effluent-laced hard water
Nirmala M Nagaraj | TNN

Bangalore: Want proof that Bangalore’s total sanitation coverage is less than 50%? Just take a walk around Dasarahalli zone.
Household sanitary water flows into individually constructed pits and storm water drains, before joining nearby ponds, tanks and lakes.
Interestingly, some of the residents in Dasarahalli zone are not even aware where their sanitary water flows. Sanitary water blockages and pits overflowing on to main roads is common, which leads to unnecessary digging of roads, and is one of the reasons for local spats.
“In the layouts, sanitary lines are planned and laid, while in our revenue land, sites are divided without proper planning on sanitary and water lines. Some of us wonder if our sanitary water is flowing into the neighbour’s foundation,” said Ramana, resident of Dasarahalli.
In some wards like Herohalli and Dodda Bidrikallu, open area defecation still continues. Temporary toilets with water directed to the pits or vacant plots are also evident. In Shettihalli ward, sanitary water flows towards the railway line, resulting in a parallel drain running across the railway track.
Unfortunately, even after three years of this part of Bangalore coming into the BBMP fold, sanitation facilities are pathetic and one of the main public grievances.
Good drinking water is far from public reach in Dasarahalli zone. A few years ago, overflowing tanks and lakes were the main sources of water. However, rapid urbanisation has done away with these tanks and lakes, where land sharks have converted them into layouts.
Some of the prominent water bodies, like Dasarahalli lake, Bagalakunte lake and Doddabidrikallu lake are polluted beyond recognition, reducing them to cesspools.
Bagalakunte lake is encroached from all directions, with buildings coming up on the lake bed. Now, it has made way for sanitary effluents inflow. Due to lack of maintenance, weeds have covered these lakes. The thriving business of borewells along these water bodies have significantly contributed to the depletion of the water table around the area.
Doddabidrikallu lake has been converted into a dumping yard for industrial effluents. Industrial toxic chemicals and plastic are scattered across the lakes.
With Cauvery water lines yet to cover and reach most of the wards here, people depend only on borewell water, and the water business thrives with many digging illegal borewells. Most of the residents survive by selling water, which is the main source of business too.
Private water tankers can be spotted everywhere in Doddabidrakallu, Herohalli, Hegganahalli, Mallasandra wards, There are private overhead water tanks and water is pumped into water tankers almost in every lane.
“For decades, we have been in the water business, which is our main source of income. Daily, I supply six to eight tankers each at a cost of Rs 280, mainly to individual houses,” said Raju, resident of Doddabidrikallu. Not surprisingly, his borewell is next to Doddabidrikallu lake.
Due to over-exploitation of underground water resources, now most of the borewells have gone dry, increasing scarcity as well as unemployment and a rise in digging of illegal borewells.
Peenya Industrial Area, Asia’s biggest, lacks basic civic amenities. Water shortage is the main issue, with residents buying water at Rs 5 a pot.
However, in some of the residential areas, water is regularly supplied through BBMP borewells and stored water tanks.
With industrial effluents flowing into water bodies for years, the quality of groundwater has deteriorated. Borewell water is hard with a high constituent of toxic chemicals, but as there is no alternative, people continue to use it. Residents of Sanjaynagar slum in Peenya Industrial area complain of worms in drinking water.
With water and sanitation facilities being pathetic, health is also a casualty.
The BBMP health centres here lack infrastructure and adequate staffing. Outbreak of water-borne diseases like gastroentrities, dengue and cholera are common.
With sanitary water flowing, open drains and open area defecation have increased both water and mosquito-prone diseases, especially chikungunya, dengue and malaria. People are still recovering from last year’s infections, like chikungunya muscular pain.
Among the elderly, loss of property to rapid urbanisation has led to depression and dementia. But there are hardly any senior citizen homes or support systems for them in this zone.
Liquor shops thrive in this part of the zone, and related problems, like accidents, injuries and health issues are also common.
Most of the government schools in wards are limited to primary education and school children have to travel long distances — almost 5-8 km — for high school.
Only recently, some of the schools in areas like Mallasandra have been upgraded, but otherwise, most of the schools lack basic facilities like toilets.
IMMEDIATE DEMANDS Improve sanitary lines Maintain water bodies Supply clean drinking water Improve govt health centre infrastructure and accessibility DASARAHALLI ZONE WARDS LIST
40 DODDA BIDARAKALLU: Channanayakanahalli, Jagannatha Rao Layout, Gopalappa Layout, Maranna Narayanappa Layout, Lingadeeranahalli, Siddartha Layout, Tippenahalli, Suvarna Nagar, Wipro Layout, Gruhalakshmi Housing Colony, Indranagar, Nagasandra, Residential Layout, Proposed Inregrated Layout, Karibanahalli, Tigalara Palya, Mubarak Nagar, Vaddara Palya, Raghavendra Nagar, Maruthi Nagar IV Phase, Kalki Nagar, Handrihalli, Vidhyamana Nagara, Doddanna Layout, Class D Employees Housing Layout, Hosahalli G Palya, Sri Ramanagaiah Layout, D Group Layout I Stage, Congress Chikkanna Layout, Doddabedrakallu
Shivapura, Peenya Industrial Area III Phase, Dugalamma Colony, Sanjay Gandhi Nagar, Parvathi Nagar, Rajeshwari Nagar, MEI Colony, Ganapathi Nagar, Peenya I Phase, Peenya IV Phase III Stage.
Maruthi Nagar, Bairaveshwara Industrial Estate, Lakshman Nagar, Hegganahalli, Sanjeevini Nagar, Vigneshwar Nagar, Sunkadakatte
72 HEROHALLI: Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Layout, Nagaravale Nagar, Janapriya Nagar, SBI Colony, Mahadeshwara Nagar, KSRTC Layout, Muddeshwara Layout, Venkateshwara Layout, Syndicate Bank Housing Society Layout, Herohalli, L and T Layout, Anjana Nagar, Byadarahalli, Bharath Nagar I Phase, BEL Layout I Stage, SMV Layout, BEL Layout II Phase, Bharath Nagar II Phase, SMV VI and VII block, Janatha Colony, Visvesvaraya Layout, SMV Layout 8th Phase, Gidada Konenahalli, Byraweshwara Nagar, SMV Layout Nagar


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