Thursday, May 13, 2010

Projects galore to ease water woes

Projects galore to ease water woes
Storage Capacity To Be Increased; Exclusive Power Feeder Lines To Supply Power To The City

Bangalore: In order to mitigate the water crisis in the city, BWSSB minister Katta Subramanya Naidu said on Wednesday that the water storage capacity would be increased from 756 mld to 2,500 mld.
“At present, the water storage capacity for the city is just 756 mld and water can be stored only for 12 hours. While the demand is 1,250 to 1,500 mld, the supply stands at 900 mld. Hence, we are planning to increase the storage capacity to two days with 2,500 mld of water,” he said.
For this, at least eight ground level reservoirs (GLRs) would be built. “To identify land for the Rs 250-crore GLR project, a team has been set up under the leadership of Shivashankar, project director. At least 40 acres of land is required to construct each GLR,” he said.
The water board plans to set up sewage treatment plants at 20 places in the 743 km-trunk line. “Out of the 1,400 mld of water generated every day, 900 mld of water would be recycled. This amounts to 15 tmc ft of water,” he said.
With frequent power cuts affecting water supply to the city, the BWSSB has come up with a plan to have exclusive power feeder lines to supply water to the city. “We will soon sign a memorandum of understanding with the power plant that would be set up in Bidadi. BWSSB would supply 80 million litres of water per day (mld) to the power plant and they would supply power to us. There will be an exclusive power line to pump water to the city,” he said.
He said but there was no space in the city to set up an exclusive line for water supply within the city.
To avoid leakage and repair that would affect supply of water, BWSSB plans to construct a standby water pipeline from Torekadanahalli. “The 500 mld capacity line would be built at a cost of Rs 2,500 crore. We have to decide whether tender or built-operate-and-transfer system is viable to implement this project,” Katta said said.
He said the project would be cleared in the next board meeting and sent to the government for approval.
He said Rs 1,200 crore would be spent on replacing the pipeline in the newly added areas of BBMP. Already, Rs 185 crore had been spent on the work. At least 2,300 km pipeline had to be replaced with new pipes. The 2.5 inch and 3 inch pipelines would be changed to 4 inch pipes. The work would be completed in the next three months. “For the 110 villages added to BBMP, Rs 2,300 crore is required to provide sanitary and water connections. After replacements, 200mld of water would be saved.
Katta said the BWSSB incurred an expenditure of Rs 75 crore and it was able to recover only Rs 38 crore. “We are facing a loss of Rs 37 crore. The option left to recover the loss is to increase water tariff,” he said.
Stating that the water bill will be increased in phases, and from now on, all the projects will be taken only on cost-to-cost basis, he ruled out privatization of the water board.
BWSSB chairman P B Ramamurthy said that discussions were still on in the cabinet on the proposal to increase water tariff. “The cabinet is yet to approve the proposal to hike water tariff.
For better administration, structural changes have been brought in BWSSB. At least four chief engineers would be appointed for the four divisions - North, South, East and West. There will be a division created for supply of recycled water with a chief engineer in-charge of the division. Besides, there will be an assistant executive engineer for every assembly constituency. For every two wards, there will be one assistant engineer and one executive engineer for every assembly constituency.


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