News

Zephyr Suncity rain water harvesting

posted Jun 18, 2014, 7:43 AM by Anjna Gupta   [ updated Jun 18, 2014, 7:44 AM ]

Current scenario of water availability in Bangalore seems to be grim with ground water almost over and tanker mafia twisting our arms. Last year’s indication of dry weather prompted our apartment to find out an easy way of collecting rainwater as a proper rainwater harvesting system was not made initially.


Zephyr Block of Suncity Apartments, Ibblur, thought of using the flat roofs of the building to collect rainwater. Roof rainwater pipes were attached to a main big pipe and then to a small tank.

The initial water collected in the small tank and after a while the clean water starts going into the main underground tank. This takes care of the initial dirt and pollution coming down with the rains.

This system was made last year after the rains, so it did not give much results. On this year’s first thunder storm on 2nd June, it rained very heavily and the water collected was about four tankers worth of clean soft water. Using that water for washing bathing was a wish granted after a long time as the water we currently use is very hard.

If a night of rains could do that what would the entire rainy season give. It can give us water self-sufficiency for at least some months. Kudos to the team of Zephyr block who worked hard to get this system working. Every building in the city can use their roofs for some type of rain water harvesting and Zephyr people have shown the way.

ORR work pending

posted Jun 14, 2014, 1:01 PM by SAO Assoc   [ updated Jun 14, 2014, 1:01 PM ]

The incomplete civic works initiated in different parts of the Outer Ring Road (ORR) remains incomplete and is creating lot of tribulations for commuters and pedestrians. For last few months, the ORR wears a sorry look. Reason: Officials put the blame on contractors and say, ‘the contract kept changing’.   

The residents and commuters of ORR are the greatest sufferers as many development works which were mooted have been delayed due to the lethargic attitude of the concerned officials. In this stretch, both side of the storm water drain (SWD) are under construction. But due to delay in this work, stagnation of rain water has become a common phenomenon at some places. Placing of curb stones and covering of grills under the flyover has also been delayed.  
Currently, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) officials have initiated SWD work at HSR Layout and lying of curb stones at Marathahalli Bridge, simultaneously. With this initiative, the stagnation of rain water in the drain can be reduced to some extent.
When Cityplus spoke to Pradeep, Assistant Engineer, BDA, he said, “We are in the final stage of the work on ring road and the maintenance work was assigned to the previous contractor. Their term got over in the month of February. Due to which, we could not proceed in improving the condition of the road. Currently, the contractors have initiated the placing of curb stones at Marathahalli Bridge and we have assigned all the work to them. They will look into all problems like street lights, asphalting, SWD, covering of iron grills, de-silting of drains, placing of curb stones and other work has been assigned to them. We are putting lot of pressure on them to execute these works as soon as possible. I think it will take another month of time to complete the beautification of this road.”
Last year, Horticulture Department of the BDA had planted more than hundred saplings under the fly over of Iblur and Agara junction, but due to poor maintenance from the authorities most of these plants have withered away and some of them has been uprooted long back. Taking advantage of the incomplete work at ring road many drivers used to park their vehicles under the fly over near Bellandur, Iblur, Agara and HSR Layout. Of late, many slum dwellers have made their abode under the fly over near Agara Flyover.
Commenting on the horrid condition of the road, Ramesh, a resident of Iblur said, “The authorities have constructed the fly over long back on ring road to ease the traffic congestion, but the pending works like infrastructure, lying of curb stones in service roads, grills under the fly over have not been properly done by the authorities.  
Echoing similar sentiments another resident said, “We cannot understand the reason behind the delay in executing the pending work. Adding to this, the constant work from different civic bodies on this road has taken toll of the residents. To resolve these problems, authorities must have comprehensive proper planning to fix it permanently, but it will take lot of time and efforts from various administrative departments.”
According to residents, improving the poor condition of infrastructure must be the first priority for the authorities.

Citizens plan mega-protest to oppose Bellandur mega-SEZ

posted Mar 20, 2014, 8:59 AM by SAO Assoc   [ updated Mar 20, 2014, 9:01 AM ]

The residents of Bellandur, Koramangala and HSR Layout in Bengaluru, who have been fighting over the months to get the government to stop the mega project coming up on the wetland lying between Agara and Bellandur lakes, finally are resorting to a massive protest, to make their voices heard louder. The protest will be held on Sunday, March 23, 2014, at 10.30 am.

The project is said to be violating the conditions set by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board, namely not altering the sloping pattern, not encroaching the drains etc. Despite this, the project developers Mantri Techzone Pvt Ltd are continuing the construction work.

There have been hearings conducted by Upa Lokayukta, Justice Subhash Adi, where the worries of the residents were discussed, however there has not been any action on ground, to address the real issues by any department.

The Upa Lokayukta in the last hearing in February, had objected to the usage of state machinery to provide land for this project, which has partial SEZ and most of it being residential and commercial. In this meeting, the Commissioner of Industries, Maheshwara Rao had also clarified that the project was given a go-ahead in 2001, but there has been no extension sought for the permission.

There is also a Public Interest Litigation running in the High Court of Karnataka, filed by Namma Bengaluru Foundation and many resident welfare associations. The project has caused worry among people of Bellandur, HSR Layout and Koramangala for various reasons.

Huge requirement of water

The documents submitted for approval from BWSSB showed a built up area of 17,404 sqmt, while the actual built up area is 13,47,094 sqmt. The projected water requirement while obtaining environmental clearance was around 135 million litres per month. Without having any exact idea of how much water will be required, the BWSSB has given the NOC for the project. And the project claims to use only BWSSB as the source of water for the entire project.

But the BWSSB's January 2013 data showed that 122 million litres of water was supplied to 1730 connections in Agaram ward that month. Koramangala ward, which is largely residential, got only 197 ML for its nearly 5900 connections in January. There is no adequate supply in most areas, and residents heavily rely on tanker water. Come summer, the water woes peak here.

Dangerous for drains and lake?

The IISc study on Bellandur wetlands showed the adverse effect of the project on the lake and the surrounding environment. The residents fear that the project would cause the destruction of Bangalore’s largest lake, Bellandur. The project claims to use water from seven STPs. However, this will result in diminished inflow to the lake, which will cause the lake to dry up, and the water table in the area to go down.

The drain that passes to Bellandur lake from HSR layout has been heavily encroached by the excavated earth piled up by the side of Mantri constructions spot. An engineer in a nearby plot who doesn’t want to be named says that last year his project site was submerged in floods and backwater from the drain. This is an indication of the extent to which various projects on the banks of the Raja Kaluve might have affected it, of which the Mantri project is also a major one.

Traffic to multiply on sarjapur Road

Another problem that looms large is the massive traffic that will come along with the project. Interestingly, a Metro line has been planned on Sarjapur Road in phase-3 of Metro. However, that doesn’t allay the fears of roadblocks that would be caused by the massive residential and commercial project, because the project aims at bringing in 21000 extra cars per hour at peak time, as projected in their own documents. The residents fear that Koramangala would reduce to a dust bowl.

Too many violations

The residents feel the project has displayed scant respect for laws, by violating the zoning regulations and presenting untruth to get specific clearances, including those from BWSSB, Bescom and Fire Department.

Due permissions have been obtained by the residents for the protest. They have decided to demand the cancellation of KIADB permissions given to the project, and the withdrawal of BWSSB no-objection certificates. It remains to be seen whether this will make any impact on ground.

Malleshwaram to Peenya Metro line to open

posted Feb 25, 2014, 3:11 AM by SAO Assoc   [ updated Feb 25, 2014, 3:12 AM ]

Namma Metro Reach 3 and 3a services from Malleshwaram to Peenya in Bengaluru will open for public use from March 1st, 2014. Ramalinga Reddy said: “On 28th February evening at 6 pm, Railway Minister Mallikarjun will inaugurate this line. From 1st March 6 am onwards the service will be open for public.” The good news for the users is the last train will run at 11pm, unlike MG road to Baiyappanahalli stretch that has the last train running at 10 pm.


BMRCL MD Kharola claimed that all the stations were ready for use. The 10-km stretch from Sampige to Peenya Industrial Area is ready to host six-coach trains. The frequency of the train will be maintained at every 10 minutes. This frequency will be increased depending on the number of travelers. The entire stretch that usually takes 45 minutes to cover by road, will be covered in 18 minutes with Metro, with 30-second halt on each station.

Talking about the possible hike in the price that BMRCL has been contemplating for long, Kharola said, “BMTC charges Rs.45 for a 10km stretch. Metro will cost only Rs.23.” Smart card users will enjoy a 17% discount for the same distance, that is Rs. 19.

Stations

Tariff

Sampige to Srirampura

Rs. 10

Sampige to Kuvempu Road

Rs. 13

Sampige to Rajajinagar

Rs.14

Sampige to Mahalakshmi

Rs.16

Sampige to Sandal Soap Factory

Rs.17

Sampige to Yeshwanthpur

Rs.19

Sampige to Yeshwanthpur industry

Rs.21

Sampige to Peenya

Rs.23

Sampige to Peenya industry

Rs.23


Metro - what next?
  • Peenya to Nagasandra (Reach 3B - 2.5 km) stretch and Byappanahalli to Mysore road stretch will be ready before the end of 2015.

  • The tunneling work between North-South line between Sampige Road and National College (Underground - UG1 - 4 km) is expected to be completed by September or October 2014.

  • East-West tunnel running between M G Road and Magadi Road (Underground - UG2 - 4.8 km) will be completed in next 40 days.

  • The most controversial Jayadeva realignment will start in next 15 days. Kharola said that the drawings are being finalised.

Encroachment cleared from the Ibblur lake bed

posted Feb 21, 2014, 6:49 PM by SAO Assoc   [ updated Feb 21, 2014, 6:50 PM ]

Ibblur lake is situated on Sarjapura ORR road junction, roughly 12 acres in its current state. In the beginning of 2013, local residents and RWAs came together and instituted Ibblur Lake Forum. The lake has rotated jurisdiction a couple of times in recent times and is presently under the purview of the BDA.

JCB clearing encroachment on Ibblur lake bed. Pic: Mukund Rao

After much engagement by the community with the authorities, the BDA finally approved the fencing of the lake to protect the lake boundary. Work started in September with the digging of pits at the lake boundary to install the fence poles. After that, there was a mysterious halt on work and the contractor turned absent. A couple of weeks passed and one fine day, residents woke up and saw that the pits had been filled on two sides of the road.

Pits dug inside the boundary of Ibblur lake Pic: Mukund Kumar

In October, as many residents went out of town, work started suddenly, and this time, the pits were dug 10 ft. inside the boundary, ostensibly under pressure from some local land owners. Residents cried hoarse and wrote to the BDA authorities to restore the fence to the true boundary, as per the Supreme Court guidelines to protect lake land.

Finally, on October 30, 2013, a high level delegation of officials including the Upa Lokayuktha, the BDA Commissioner, visited Ibblur lake and addressed the situation on the ground. They provided a concrete assurance that the encroachment induced by the new lake fencing would be corrected within a week. The Lokayuktha chief also instructed the Ibblur Lake Forum team to meet him separately and report the events.

A couple of hours later, the BDA engineers took prompt action on the ground. Mallikarjun, BDA AEE, arrived and took stock of the situation on the ground, then promptly instructed the workers to remove the encroaching fence poles. A JCB followed and pace picked up, all under strict vigil of a police squad. Local land owners tried to argue and intimidate, but local community members from neighbouring apartments came up in good numbers to show strength and solidarity with the work.

The authorities did their job and the community stood by them. By 1 pm, the JCB had done the job and people went home re-assured that the due process had been completed.

Metro coming to Sarjapur road

posted Feb 18, 2014, 12:26 AM by Anjna Gupta   [ updated Feb 18, 2014, 12:27 AM ]

Namma Metro is set for another network boost. Buoyed by the Centre’s recent clearance of Namma Metro Phase-II, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has begun the spadework for a 133-km Phase III.  

The Corportation has awarded engineering consultancy firm, RITES the contract for a detailed project report (DPR) for the 33-km line from Central Silk Board to Hebbal, one of the five routes proposed under the new phase. A high-power committee constituted by the State government had already approved a pre-feasibility study on the network in June last year. The four other routes will connect
  • Nagawara and Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) by a 25-km line
  • Hosakerehalli and Outer Ring Road near Marathahalli through Old Airport road (23 km)
  • Sarjapur Layout (station, Carmelaram) and Yelahanka (station, Kogilu Road Cross) by a 35-km line passing through Central College, Palace Guttahalli, Mekhri Circle and Hebbal;
  • 17-km line from the Nice Ring Road to Toll Gate via Magadi Road. Gollarahatti on Nice Road and Vijayanagar are likely to be the two stations on either edges of this line.  
The Central Silk Board - Hebbal line will cover vast stretches of the Outer Ring Road, linking areas such as Sarjapur road, Marathahalli and Mahadevapura. The Hosakerehalli - ORR link will effectively connect Marathahalli, Manipal Hospital junction, HAL Main Gate and other areas along Old Airport road, which were hitherto outside the Metro network. The Nagawara-KIA airport link is part of the Phase-2A of the project.   Although KIA’s Terminal-2 has made provisions for Metro connectivity, a final picture is yet to emerge on this critical line. The airport connection was earlier part of the High-Speed Rail Link (HSRL) project.   The 42.3-km Phase I, 72-km Phase II and 133-km Phase III are expected to considerably boost the City’s Metro grid. The third phase may take several years for completion. But it will bring vast stretches of the City such as Koramangala, Sarjapur, HRBR Layout and Magadi road under the Namma Metro network. 

Bridge opened on Sarjapur road

posted Feb 15, 2014, 7:35 PM by SAO Assoc   [ updated Feb 15, 2014, 7:37 PM ]

In a boon for scores of harried travelers on Sarjapur Main road, the long-pending Road over Bridge near the Decathlon Sports Club has finally been thrown open for traffic.

The Rs 20 crore project that connects Outer Ring Road to Sarjapur over the railway line was thrown open last Saturday by Union Minister of Railways M Malikarjuna Kharge and State Home Minister KJ George. The Road over Bridge project was started in December 2012 and was completed in January 2014. The RoB work has come as a welcome relief to thousands of working professionals whocriss-cross the Carmelaram level crossing every day. Carmelaram railway has a minimum of 18 crossings every day and it is one of the busiest railway crossings in the city. Before to the construction of Road over Bridge, the scenario was completely different as commuters were forced to wait till the trains pass through the crossing, due to which the main road was facing serious traffic hassles.
The completion of Road over Bridge has certainly brought huge relief for the commuters who use this road to reach the adjoining areas like Dommasandra, Ambedkar Nagar and many other places. This Road over Bridge is a crucial link from city to the IT corridor which houses several IT companies, apartment complex and international schools.

Streetlights installed
In a move to beautify the RoB, the authorities have installed street lights on both side of the bridge. In a joint effort from Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and South Western Railway, (SWR) saplings were planted and the RoB walls are painted skillfully.  
The level crossing where the bridge has been constructed will ease the traffic congestion, especially during peak hour traffic. Talking to Cityplus, one of the railway official said, “The four lanes over bridge is about approx 520 meters long and is built on eight pillars so that the space created below can be used for other purposes.”
Commenting on this Lakshmikanth, a resident of the Sarjapur said, “Almost 90 per cent of the problem related to traffic congestion has been fixed. In the past, minor accidents were being reported on a regular basis. With the arrival of bridge many things traffic issues have been resolved. At present, we need quality infrastructure on Sarjapur road which is essential for smooth movement of vehicles. I hope the concerned authorities will look into other traffic gridlocks in the area.”   

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