Unusual rain in Bengaluru; City records coolest day of May in 10 years
Officials from IMD said the chilly weather in Bengaluru is a result of the cyclone which made landfall on the Andhra Pradesh coast late on Wednesday.
BENGALURU: Bengaluru on Wednesday recorded the lowest temperature in May in the past 10 years, according to the data released by the Bengaluru chapter of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The city on Wednesday reported a minimum temperature of 19.5°C and a maximum temperature of 24°C. The coolest day in May in recent history in Bengaluru was on May 14, 1972, when the maximum temperature recorded was 22.2°C.
The maximum temperature reported on Wednesday in the city showed a departure of 9°C from normal. The previous lowest maximum temperature recorded in the last ten years was 33.8 degrees Celsius, on May 2, 2015.
The chilly weather is a result of the cyclone which made landfall on the Andhra Pradesh coast late on Wednesday. Officials from IMD said similar weather will continue in Bengaluru for the next few days and there will be no heatwave.
While the cool weather and rain in summer have brought relief to the people of the city, the downpour has overwhelmed the city’s infrastructure, raising the question of whether it can withstand the monsoon. The city has received 255 mm rain since March 1, 171 mm departure from normal.
“Bengaluru will continue to receive light to moderate rainfall till May 16. For the next 48 hours, the sky will be generally cloudy. Rain is very likely. Maximum and Minimum temperatures are very likely to be around 26 and 21 Degree Celsius respectively,” IMD said.
The rain in May has served as a reminder to citizens of pothole-ridden roads and water-logging. Heavy rains over the last few years have been putting a lot of pressure on the already compromised stormwater drain network in the city. With the unusual rain in May, there are fears that the city’s crumbling infrastructure may not be able to handle a heavy monsoon.
A senior BBMP official said that the city cannot handle more than 70 mm per hour of rainfall and several lakes in the city are already filled to the brim. According to the official, there are around 100 flood-prone areas in the city, but the city’s lakes and drains do not have enough space to carry or store water if there is heavy rain in May and if the monsoon brings excessive downpour.
The new chief commissioner, BBMP, Tushar Girinath, said that monsoon preparedness, preventing the spread of Covid-19 and enhancement of infrastructure were his top priorities.
“Every year, citizens are inconvenienced during the monsoon. I will identify short-term solutions. Precautionary measures should be taken to avoid any problems during the rainy season within the BBMP limits. The civic body, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) should work in coordination and respond to citizens’ woes immediately. I will make sure that citizens’ complaints are addressed,” Girinath said.
He has asked the officers to identify the most vulnerable areas in the city and clear the silt from the drains. Safety equipment should be provided to personnel operating during the rainy season. The work of the contractors must be supervised by the officers. He added that work of clearing stormwater drains is underway in several areas and he is supervising them as well.
However, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in its performance audit report on the management of stormwater in the Bengaluru Urban area released in September 2021, had pointed out that the BBMP did not possess fool-proof data on the total number/ length and nature of different types of drains under its jurisdiction.
“The absence of a comprehensive inventory of drains and their proper classification contributed to a lack of clarity on critical issues such as the extent of a buffer zone to be maintained, etc. This, in turn, hampered maintenance of drains as many utility lines like electrical, telephone, optical cable, etc., were laid across the drains in many locations obstructing flow in the drains,” CAG noted, adding that BBMP had also failed to prepare an SWD manual specifying the design, construction and maintenance of the drain infrastructure of the city.
CAG also said that BBMP had failed to factor in reasons for high-intensity rainfall due to rapid urbanisation, did not adhere to the provisions of the Indian Road Congress and the guidelines of the National Disaster Management Authority while designing and constructing roads/ drains, and failed to prevent inflow of sewage, clear encroachments and blockages, and in general upkeep of the drains by taking up periodical inspections. All this has resulted in continuous misuse of the drains, the CAG said.