City Kemp News
Residents from apartments across Bengaluru formed human chain across the city to protest against discrimination against apartments by civic agencies. In Koramangala cluster, which was one of 32 clusters across the city, residents of 9 apartments came out in large numbers and peacefully lined up on 80 ft road starting from Kamal Bakery junction extending all the way to Maharaja junction on both sides of the road. The protestors included all ages from young children to senior citizens.
Apartment owners individually pay garbage cess and yet have to pay additionally to pick up and process their own waste.
Apartments have been paying water and sanitation charges for years at rates 250 to 300% more than what individual houses pay. Apartments let their sewage into the UGD network responsibly as required by BWSSB. And yet old apartments have been asked to install Sewage Treatment Plants (STP). The latest notice from KPSCB threatened cutting of Water, Power and criminal proceedings.
The Bengaluru Apartment Federation (BAF) which has 175 member apartments organized the human chain across the city and has also impleaded itself in the matter pending in the NGT. As per the Governments own affidavit in the NGT, 319 old apartments contribute less than 3% of total discharge entering Bellandur Lake. BWSSB is setting up centralized STPs to cover all current discharge into Bellandur. New apartments are already setting up STPs. So why ask old apartments to do so? Old apartments were not constructed keeping STP in mind. There are space issues. Structural stability issues. Its very expensive to install and maintain STPs. Apartments don’t have dual piping or seperate tanks. If 319 apartments install STPs it will cost at least 150 crores. If BWSSB installs a centralized STP to take care of 319 apartments discharge it will cost around 10 crores.
BWSSB has the expertise to construct and maintain STPs. Apartments don’t. It is an environmental and health hazard to have hundreds of decentralized STPs for which it will be difficult to do quality control.
On every count, it makes no sense to ask individual old apartments to set up STPs.