BENGALURU: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai may have announced that a master plan would be prepared for the drain network in Bengaluru, but government officials are not ready to take on the responsibility. "Little can be done," they say.
"Citizens will have to make do with the existing drain network and infrastructure, as no new network can be created. This means that the existing drain network will only have to be maintained and continued," sources in the Urban Development department (UDD) told The New Indian Express.
"So, the only option left is to improve the carrying capacity of the existing drains, manage the system, and increase their depth. They are also being worked on, making engineers and officials responsible if the drains are not well maintained or if there’s any clogging," the source said.
"The engineers, officials and ground staffers will have to work hard to ensure that drains are not encroached further, and are not clogged, failing which they will be dealt with sternly. A mechanism is also being worked on how citizens can be penalised for dumping waste into drains," a senior UDD official said.
BBMP and BWSSB officials admit that several primary, secondary and tertiary drains have been closed. "The exercise to prepare the master plan will help us get the exact and present status of the condition of drains, and their measurement. But adding a new drain network will not be possible," the officials said.
The UDD source said the drain network created 50-60 years ago for the population of Bengaluru, isn't sufficient for the existing population of the city. The lake’s interconnection has also been lost. All these will be included in the master plan. It will also lay emphasis on widening them wherever possible.
The UDD official admitted, "The drains should have been maintained, and what is being listed now should have continued, but it has not happened due to private and political issues. Connectivity to the lake cannot be restored, including those lost primary, secondary and tertiary drains. Hence, the new drain master plan will have little or nothing new to offer."