Bengaluru’s civic body has proposed an ambitious K-100 Rajakaluve project, that will aim at restoring the city’s waterways and its stormwater drain network to European style pathways with walking and cycling lanes, small parks and other recreational spaces for the public.
With the Karnataka government nodding approval for the 169-crore Koramangala valley development and rejuvenation project, also termed the ‘Citizens’ Waterway Project’, the historically significant stormwater drains from KR Market to Bellandur Lake are one step closer towards getting a facelift, similar to how Church Street was renovated.
The project had also found mention in Bengaluru Mission 2022, announced in December 2020 by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa.
According to BBMP officials, the K-100 drain network which is 11.4 in length connected the erstwhile Dharmabudhi lake (Majestic Kempegowda Bus Station now) with Bellandur Lake. Including secondary drains, the stormwater drain network runs spans over 28 kilometres.
“The project is envisaged to enable the city and its people to get reconnected to Bengaluru’s water heritage. Development is proposed on the lines of Pasig River in Manila, Cheong Gyecheon in Seoul, South Korea, Klong Ong Ang Canal rejuvenation in Bangkok, Lu Chuan Canal in Taiwan, and many water canals running through residential neighbourhoods in Singapore,” a senior BBMP official explained.
To begin with, BBMP has planned to oversee measures undertaken by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to stop sewage inflow and to address pollution-related issues, untreated industrial effluents, garbage, and unregulated construction leading to adverse effects at the stormwater drains.
“Initial studies have revealed that issues like garbage dumping, leaving sewers open, illegal outfalls from buildings next to the drains, and flawed maintenance strategy are issues we need to address as soon as possible,” a senior BBMP official said.
Confirming the proposal, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said, “Tenders will be floated soon for the process. The Chief Minister is keen on the project and is monitoring the progress.”