BWSSB Delays Leave Residents Drained
By Mohammed Yacoob | Published: 17th January 2014 10:17 AM |
For nearly 200 residents of Victoria Layout in Richmond Town, the laying of new underground drainage pipelines by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), which started a month ago, has proven to be a civic nightmare.
The residents say contractors have dug up roads and put new pipelines for individual houses, but have done a shoddy job. They further allege that BWSSB workers have disconnected the existing water connections and are demanding huge sums of money to fix this. The Layout was formed in 1958 and has 104 sites.
“I am an elderly person and I get health check-ups done once in a week, but from the past one month, I could not go to the doctor because of the water crisis and bad roads,” said Mahalakshmi Menon, a resident. She claimed that the water lines were damaged and later the labourers, who dug up the roads, fixed it temporarily. However, this has reduced the force of the water flow, added Mahalakshmi, who can move around only with a walker.
The people who dug up the roads had no clue about how to work, charged Dr Srinivas, a retired health department official and another resident. “The work was done unscientifically and would be left for several days with mud getting into the pipes. Desiltation has not been done for ages while pest control to deal with rodents has also not been done,” he explained. Dr Srinivas said the engineers concerned could never be seen even as workers damaged water pipes and other cables deliberately and demanded money. “I had to pay Rs 8,000 to fix the water and sewage lines. The old connection was connected to new pipelines. In some houses, the workers and contractors demanded over Rs 15,000,’’ he alleged.
Ironically, he said, the British did a good job looking after sites they built in Richmond Town but Indian civic agencies could not maintain it.
Residents fret whenever they see passing vehicles kicking up mounds of dust, left behind by the incomplete work, given its adverse health consequences. “This is the start of the season of pollen and dust allergies and respiratory and eye infections,” Dr Srinivas added.
For U F Dhanaraj, a retired KEB engineer, the problem started three months ago when the Board put main lines on the main road. “The roads have become uneven and labourers and contractors are exploiting residents,” he complained.
‘Pending Work to be Finished in a Week’
According to Shiva Kumar, corporator of Shanthala Nagar, the civic works have been delayed as labourers, most of whom are from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, have gone home on holiday.
Stating that the labourers would be back by this weekend, Kumar said he had visited the area and the newly-laid pipelines would be covered within a week’s time.
“The residents demand extra work and the contractors and labourers charge more for this. If there is any complaint, they can bring it to my notice,” he added.