BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court on Saturday asked Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) the Storm Water Drains (SWDs) are cleaned by December 15. This is in view of state government releasing Rs 42 crore to BBMP for a one-time cleaning of the SWDs post monsoon across the city.
The judgment was passed after Senior Counsel Aditya Sondhi informed the court that state government was releasing Rs 42 crores for a one time cleaning of SWDs to avoid the inundation of water during rains. Sondhi was inducted by the court as an independent member of the Coordination Committee headed by the Chief Secretary, which was constituted to find solutions to the civic issues.
Taking note of it, a division bench of Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice S Sujatha observed that it cannot leave the auditing of the said amount being released for cleaning of SWDs to the BBMP. “We are not running the administration but we want the administration to run”, the division bench said while asking the BBMP update the court on the progress of the cleaning of SWDs. The court was holding a special sitting on Saturday to hear PILs related to civic issues.
V Sreenidhi, the BBMP counsel, informed the court that a tender has been floated on October 27 for a one-time cleaning of SWDs and the last date for submission of tenders is November 24. The court has adjourned the hearing to December 15 and asked the state to submit the minutes of the Coordination Committee and said that it should hold meetings once a week until the city is back on track.
BBMP Counsel V Sreenidhi informed the court that 31 out of 86 unauthorised hoardings were removed. Among 31, 28 were voluntarily removed and 3 were dismantled by the BBMP. The remaining 55 require huge machines for their removal and hence they will be removed in a week, he added.
Considering the suggestions made by the Court Commissioners, the BBMP has issued guidelines involving a methodology for pothole patching to all ground level executives of all zones. In its report, the court-appointed commissioners have exposed the lack of knowledge among the engineers of BBMP, including executive engineers, required to fill the potholes scientifically.
More funds for BBMP
The Coordination Committee headed has decided to release the funds required for filling potholes/ditches arising out of road cutting by BWSSB to BBMP. This was in order to ensure better coordination between the BBMP and the BWSSB and to make BBMP solely responsible. In their report, the Court Commissioners have pointed out the lack of coordination between these two agencies, resulting in improper maintenance of city roads. Earlier, both the BBMP and the BWSSB were blaming each other for unfilled potholes on city roads.
Meanwhile, Advocate General Uday Holla informed the court that the sentence of the seven out of the eight accused who had attacked BBMP personnel while they were removing unauthorised flexes in Ramamurthy Nagar police station limits was upheld. Only one of them was acquitted, he said. Holla has also informed the court that instructions have been given to transport authorities to check if the advertisement material used for displaying of ads on buses and autorickshaws was biodegradable or not and take action if not.
HC dissatisfied with KSPCB & CIPET
The Karnataka High Court expressed displeasure over the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CIPET), which comes under the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, as there was a prima facie delay on their part in submitting the
report after testing the materials sent by the BBMP. They were asked to clarify whether these materials were 100 percent cotton, biodegradable, PVC-free and do not contain any plastic.