BENGALURU: A public notification issued by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) on January 4, asking apartments to install sensors in Sewage Treatment Plants to allow monitoring online has triggered an uproar among apartment residents, who have to shell out anywhere between Rs 4 lakh and Rs 10 lakh to install such sensors.
The board on Sunday, however, clarified that the sensors are mandatory at present only for mega commercial or residential apartments that treat 5 lakh litres or more of sewage per day. Syed Khaja, Senior Environmental Officer, KSPCB, said that only around 100 buildings in the city will come under this category.
“We will give them two to three months to complete the process,” he added. Though initially planned for nearly 2,500 apartments that have STPs, the absence of sufficient vendors to install sensors forced the board to defer the move for all apartments.
Khaja said, “We had called for Expression of Interest from vendors and 12 had applied, but only four met our criteria.” The notification copy calls upon the public to install sensors using these four registered vendors.
“There are very few in India who carry out this job and they import parts from Germany and Japan. This increases the cost. They have specified installation costs ranging between Rs 4 lakh and Rs 10 lakh which would be expensive for regular apartments. We have had talks with startups and asked them to work out cheaper solutions. It might take them at least a year. Now, we will make it mandatory only for large buildings,” he said.
Vijaykumar Gogi, Chairman, KSPCB, said, “It was to ensure efficient monitoring by the board of inlet and outlet systems of the STP so that all discharged sewage gets treated.”
Pavan Vasista of Doddakallasandra got a jolt when received a quotation on Sunday for Rs 10.48 lakh plus 18 per cent GST from one of the registered vendors. He said that it was too exorbitant for apartment residents.
Gautam Kamat of ‘Liberty Square’ apartment on Kanakapura Main Road said, “KSPCB needs to come out with clear instructions. The implications if the parameters of the board are not met, or if it goes below the expected level, have not been specified.”