Friday, April 27, 2007

Focus on environment

Focus on environment
The BBMP plans to develop lakes and set up sewage water treatment plants, writes Poornima B V

Awhopping Rs 40 crores has been earmarked under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) funds by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) for taking up environmental protection activities in the year 2007-08. The BBMP intends to take a holistic approach to protect and conserve parks, lakes and tanks in the city. Development of 14 lakes in the new areas under Greater Bangalore, setting up of small sewage water treatment plants (STPs) in collaboration with the BWSSB, water harvesting and use of recycled water to irrigate both new and existing parks will be the main focus areas.
A detailed project report is being prepared to shortlist these lakes and take up developmental work after calling for tenders, according to Krishna Udapudi, Deputy Conservator of Forests, BBMP. There are certain guidelines that have to be followed before taking up any developmental work, according to Udapudi. The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, has formulated a National Lake Development Plan (NLCP), according to which the water holding capacity of the lake has to be increased by desilting, diversion of sewage water and providing proper inlets and outlets. The BBMP also intends to take over all major tanks and lakes from the Minor Irrigation , LDA and public agencies to give a unified thrust towards conservation of the lakes in the city. Sankey Tank and Ulsoor Lake have already been developed and become landmarks in the city. There are plans to create more awareness regarding various techniques of rain water harvesting through media campaigns.
The BBMP proposes to enter into an memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the BWSSB in the current year to use secondary treated sewerage water for all parks. A sewage treatment plant will be set up this year in J P Park. As a beginning, the Deer Park and Kempabudhi Lake Park will be watered using recycled water from the Kempabudhi STP. Recycled water from the Nayandahalli STP would be used for all new parks in Rajarajeshwarinagar. Apart from this, medians, circles and islands in the city will also be watered using treated water from these plants, using tankers.
There are also plans to move towards the concept of tree parks to conserve water, instead of establishing parks only with aesthetics in mind. Massive afforestation plans is also on the cards, with a proposal to plant over one lakh plants for which a provision of Rs 1 crore has been made.
The Freedom Park, a major project that has been taken up by the BBMP, is likely to be completed in a year's time, according to Udapudi. There are also plans to develop parks in various neighbourhoods with emphasis on new areas, after a detailed survey.


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