Sunday, June 29, 2008

Grand plan to clear slums

Grand plan to clear slums

Bangalore: Air, water and a roof over the head. Three things, apart from food, that are basic human necessities. That’s what schoolchildren are taught, but as they grow up, they find them missing in cities. A group of citizens, some cabinet ministers, representatives of civic bodies and NGOs participated in a group discussion on issues concerning water, housing and air in Bangalore.
Shobha Nambisan, principal secretary, housing department, elaborated on a project to build houses in place of slums. There are around 500 slums, of which the JN-NURM project will cover 46 in two phases. In the first phase, 11,603 houses will be built in 30 slums at a cost of Rs 252.18 crore and in the second, 3,151 houses will be built in 16 slums at a cost of Rs 124.27 crore. She said the project would only be the tip of the iceberg in rehabilitation of slum-dwellers.
Slum-dwellers have been known to dislike vertical construction of houses. There is also the problem of providing transit accommodation during the construction period and sustainability issues.
A presentation on the BWSSB revealed that while the demand was for 1,219 million litres per day (MLD), the supply was a mere 870 MLD, a shortfall of 41%, or 349 MLD. The shortage is expected to touch 48% by 2015. A solution to the problem is fraught with several issues, including that of limitations on surface water. The TG Halli and Hesarghatta lakes were last full only in 1998 and 1994, respectively. BWSSB chairperson Latha Krishna Rao elaborated on the Vrishabhavathi valley reuse scheme under which abstraction from the valley would be treated and delivered to TG Halli reservoir. The project will be completed by 2011 and is estimated to cost Rs 474 crore.
Vasanth Rao, deputy commissioner, resources, BBMP, who threw light on solid waste, announced that the new solid-waste management system would have GPRS facility to monitor garbage trucks. A private firm, Terra Firma, will take over garbage management.
Vrishabhavathi valley project by 2011 To have capacity of 135 MLD Part 2 of integrated water-management programme to include Nagawara, Kalkere, Bellandur, Kengeri, KR Puram lakes 1st charge in lake-water usage for BWSSB sought Legislation to regulate drawal of groundwater Ban on floating restaurants, speedboats sought to preserve lake water GPRS system to monitor garbage-collection trucks soon Legislation to recognize air as natural resource suggested


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