BANGALORE: Where has over 1.85 lakh loads of silt, removed from the city's storm water drains, been dumped? The city-based Right To Information (RTI) Research Centre is asking the BBMP this question.
According to the centre's managing trustee S Amaresh, the members were told by BBMP under the RTI that 38,500 loads more were to be removed from the drains. "Bangalore has agricultural land around it. Where could the BBMP have dumped so much silt? Farmers won't take kindly to the dumping, would they? Or has the BBMP actually lifted so much silt? If it has, we should be able to see it - it is a huge amount. We want the BBMP to take the media and our representatives to show the dump areas because BBMP claims 30% of work on cleaning storm water drains is over. We need to see the silt to confirm whether the BBMP's claims are true," Amaresh said.
BBMP's consultants on storm water drain cleaning too are not stating anything about the status of the silt. The consultants, consisting of engineering college representatives, have already been paid more than Rs 1 crore as fee, Amaresh claimed. The consultants have apparently not gone beyond suggesting how the drains need to be cleaned. "Why should they not monitor the lifting and transport of silt?"
Amaresh said he had documents to prove that BBMP had already paid Rs 121 crore to contractors for silt removal and disposal. "So much money has already been spent. We should be able to see a huge number of lorries and JCBs doing work. But that is not the case. Why has the money already been paid?" The organisation has demanded that the BBMP put up all details of the cleaning work on its website and make public the money being spent under almost 30 categories. The BBMP has taken up cleaning of the city's major storm water drains in Bangalore's four valleys - Vrishabavati, Hebbal, Koramangala and Challaghatta. The entire project is estimated at Rs 640 crore.