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BWSSB shelves plans for 2 water recycling plants

Madhumathi D.S.

BANGALORE, Dec. 26

THE Bangalore Water Supply & Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has decided to shelve plans to set up two tertiary treatment plants (TTPs) on the basis of a recently projected low industrial offtake from them.

The TTPs at K&C Valley and Hebbal Valley were among the four from which the board proposed to generate recycled water for downstream industries and also to ease pressure on the potable water that these users currently buy at a premium sum.

"Our exhaustive market survey has gone against them. In the absence of bulk consumers in the downstream areas (of the two plants), we have deferred the plans indefinitely," said Mr M.N.Vidyashankar, BWSSB Chairman.

"The proposed capacity at K&C Valley would be 50 mld, but the demand forecast from all the industries downstream of the area for even the next 10 years will not exceed 5 mld of treated water. Hebbal has no downstream industrial users and will also be close to the Yelahanka TTP. We are not going ahead with these plants for now," Mr Vidyashankar told Business Line.

Two years ago, the board started out with a plan to have four large TTPs, which could yield 140 mld of tertiary recycled water for industrial use. Bids were called for the 50-mld TTP at K&C Valley in 1999 and for the 20-mld Hebbal Valley plant during the Global Investors' Meet of June 2000 and the BOOT-based projects had got responses from major domestic and international players such as US Filters and Degremont. Had the projects taken off, the Board would have had to invest in laying separate pipelines to channelise the recycled water up to the buyer areas.

The other two TTPs are being executed under Rs 35-crore French aid package. Degremont has taken up the 60-mld V Valley plant and OTV the 10-mld Yelahanka TTP.

Mr Vidyashankar said trials runs were on and the V Valley TTP would be available for users in the Bidadi and Kumbalgod industrial hubs shortly.

All the 10 mld from Yelahanka has been committed and it would reach the market during January 2003.

This plant will also serve the upcoming international airport and related infrastructure projects at Devanahalli. Some of its big clients are KPC and the host of industries in the Bidadi belt and the golf course.

In addition, the secondary treated water from Kempambudhi will also be available soon.

This should make BWSSB the largest single seller of treated water among the utilities in the States, he said.

Recycled water priced at Rs 15-18 per kilolitre will be preferred by industries that are now paying a premium price of Rs 60-70 a kilolitre of potable water.

The board has set itself a revenue target of Rs 30 crore a month by March 31. "It should be possible to achieve Rs 360 crore revenue collection a year as the board's current collection is Rs 26 crore a month." During 2001-02, it improved its collection to Rs 229 crore, up from Rs 214 crore the previous fiscal year.

From this month, the board expects 100 per cent collections from its four lakh connections. About 38,000 of the 46,000 unauthorised users got their links regularised and others opted out, he said.

To improve its industrial sector service, it recently opened a dedicated reservoir for Electronics City and hopes to link up Peenya, another bustling industrial hub, shortly, to its major feeder line.

Cauvery IV Phase II

Meanwhile, the water board has received in-principle approval for its augmented water supply scheme, Cauvery Stage 4 phase II.

It will take up the 500-mld scheme during 2004-05, according to Mr Vidyashankar.

The Rs 3675-crore project is being financed by the JBIC, which has also supported Phase 1, which the Board completed this year.

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