Bengaluru misses ‘water plus’ tag

The certification is awarded to cities which have provided sanitation for all by ensuring no untreated wastewater is discharged in the open


Nine cities including New Delhi, Mumbai, Surat and Hyderabad have been awarded ‘Water Plus’ certification by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Bengaluru did not feature in the list which was released recently as part of Centre’s Swachh Bharat Mission and Swachh Survekshan assessment. The IT City has, however, managed to retain its ranking in Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.

Three urban local bodies from Andhra Pradesh such as Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, Vijayawada Municipal Corporation and Tirupati Municipal Corporation have been certified as ‘Water Plus’. Chandigarh and Indore are among the nine cities.

The ‘Water Plus’ certification is awarded to cities which have provided sanitation for all by ensuring no untreated wastewater is discharged in the open. The assessment also reviews best practices adopted by cities in the safe discharge of sewage, safe cleaning of sewer and septic tanks by using mechanised equipment, adequate capacity of wastewater and sewage treatment among other facilities.



Water expert MN Thippeswamy said the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) failed to match up with the requirement of the City. “For the past 4-5 years, there has not been much developmental work being undertaken by the BWSSB. Many cities have been successful in providing 24×7 water supply, displaying progress in waste water management and water conservation. Even countries with much lesser GDP than us have reduced unaccounted for water,” he said.

Since 4-5 years, there has not been much developmental work being undertaken by the BWSSB

– M N Thippeswamy, water expert

BWSSB officials were not happy with the results. “The BBMP must have participated in the survey. We have the highest number of sewage treatment plants in the country treating about 900 million litres per day (MLD) of sewage. About 30 per cent of the treated water is supplied to the neighboring cities for irrigation purposes.

Another 10 per cent is being used for the non-potable purpose. Besides, we have increased the number of jetting machines to 178,” the officer explained.

Bengaluru lost the ‘Water Plus’ title for the following reasons: the BWSSB has less than 25 per cent of the safety kits needed for cleaning sewers and septic tanks. It does not have sufficient capacity of desludging vehicles and jetting machines as well as non-recovery of cost spent on operating and maintaining STPs.

BBMP retains ODF rank

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which was awarded ODF ++ last year, gets the same ranking this year too. A total of 3,304 cities across the countries have been certified as ODF+ including Bengaluru.

While ODF+ focuses on toilets with water, maintenance and hygiene, ODF++ focuses on toilets with sludge and septage management.

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