Tuesday, April 25, 2006

BMP to brandish SWORD
Will Book Those Dumping Rubbish In Drains
The Times of India

Bangalore: Dumping rubbish in drains? Should a BMP staffer catch you, you may have to face criminal action.
Exasperated with clearing truckload of debris from even minor drains, the BMP has embarked on a mission — Operation SWORD, acronym for Storm Water Obstruction Removal Drive. Slated to start from Wednesday night, SWORD is a nocturnal operation which aims to identify culprits dumping debris and garbage into valleys and storm water drains in the city and book them on the spot. For the purpose of taking criminal action against the culprits, the BMP has enlisted the support of the police force.

SWORD involves four Prahari-like vehicles patrolled by six gangmen, a senior engineer and a supervisor who will keep a night-long vigil of the four major valleys and book cases against offenders. How does the BMP plan to pull off its Operation SWORD? Explains chief engineer (projects) Ranganath: “These vehicles will patrol all storm water drains which we have been identified as potentially dangerous dumping yards. Stringent warnings and police action will follow later.’’

As an incentive for people not to dump debris indiscriminately, Ranganath says the BMP is in the process of identifying vacant lands every five wards. This would be a site where citizens can actually dump segregated garbage, apart from the regular door-todoor collection.

The usual suspects, according to BMP engineers, are builders and developers who dump construction debris. Superintending engineer (storm water drains) Mrutyunjay, who has the unpalatable job of clearing the mess from the four major valleys — Vrishabhavathi, Koramangala, Hebbal, Challaghatta — reckons that only policing will ease the situation. To augment the pre-monsoon measures, plans are afoot to cover open drains with chain-link fencing which again would prevent indiscriminate dumping.

For Bangalore’s approximately 350 km length of drain network, if a road in Koramangala is flooded, trace it to some 20 tractors in Challaghatta. Will SWORD battle it?

Drain mess

• On Hosakerehalli Road, a 30-foot-tall tree now stands at a mere 5 feet, thanks to dumped construction sand.

• There are five places adjacent to valley areas where call centre vehicles use drain land as parking lots.


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