Garbage being dumped in storm water drains (SWDs) is an unpleasant reality in Bengaluru that has led to severe waterlogging in the city. During the rains, the drains overflow and cause waterlogging, simply because of presence of sewage and garbage in the SWDs.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has come up with another hare-brained idea to tackle the issue, instead of simple cleaning up the drains. It is now planning to install orifices near the pipes of the SWDs to ensure that the garbage is separated from the water flowing into the structure. The project will be piloted in Domlur.
In Domlur Layout, a bridge has been constructed over the SWD with trash barriers installed at the bottom of the bridge. This was installed to ensure that large chunks of garbage do not clog the drains and ensure smooth flow of water.
“Despite the construction of bridges with trash barriers over the SWDs, the problem is still prevalent and the smaller bits of trash that bypassed the collectors would go into the drain pipes. Hence, we are implementing this project,” said BBMP SWD Engineer Bettegowda.
A tender has already been floated and a Chennai-based company will soon begin the construction of the orifices, Bettegowda added.
“The orifice will be attached to the drain pipes. This will ensure that the water entering the pipe is sucked with a lot of force, thereby ensuring that the smaller bits of trash do not clog the pipes,” he added.
Bettegowda says that such orifices have been installed in two areas in Challaghatta Valley already and are showing promising results. However, activists say that the project would be an eyewash if the BBMP does not maintain the orifices in an appropriate manner.
“The orifice will suck all the small bits of trash but this will also not work and will only end up clogging the pipes if the orifices are not cleared regularly. Besides, the BBMP would not have to install orifices if it had maintained the trash barriers,” points out Ramprasad, convenor of Friends of Lakes.
Ramprasad maintains that the BBMP must ensure that the trash barriers are cleared at least once a week to ensure that garbage does not accumulate in them.
“Since the BBMP does not clear out the trash barriers, they cannot trap any more garbage and the residual trash flows into the pipes thereby clogging them. Even if these orifices stop clogging, this will cause the trash flow into the lakes. The BBMP is essentially passing on the problem to the Lake department,” he added.