Bengaluru braces as IMD warns of heavy rain
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an orange alert for Bengaluru city on Thursday, predicting widespread rainfall in Karnataka over the next four days. A yellow warning is also effective in some districts of coastal Karnataka and north-interior parts of the state.
On Thursday, Bengaluru witnessed continuous downpour. According to the IMD, till 5.30pm, Bengaluru received 14.12 mm of rain.
In Mysuru, seven people had a narrow escape after two buildings collapsed on Wednesday night. In two separate incidents, six people were rescued from a dilapidated building and an elderly man was rescued from his house which collapsed. Both incidents were attributed to the continuous rainfall reported in the state.
According to the weather department, the prediction of heavy rains is due to a network of cyclonic circulations and a low-pressure area over the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.
Bengaluru has received unseasonal rains in the months of October and November that has resulted in a few incidents of building collapse. The incessant rains have left much of the city in a pile of slushy mess, throwing the daily out of gear. Streets were also waterlogged, while motorists and pedestrians struggled to make their way through the downpour.
Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) continues to make assurances of fixing the city’s infrastructure woes even though there appears nothing on the ground that inspires confidence of over 12 million residents.
In Mysuru, the first building collapse was reported in Ashoka Road. According to Mysuru police officials, a portion of the two-storeyed commercial building came down around 7.55pm. “There were five people inside the building at that time. Four people were inside a mobile phone shop and one person was near to a tea stall. One more person was consuming tea at the shop’s counter. They managed to get out just in time after they heard a creaking sound coming from the building,” said police.
Syed Nawaz, who was manning the tea stall, sustained minor injuries while escaping the crash. A stone fell on his shoulder and another one hit his wrist, causing scratches.
Talking about the building, police said that the old building belonged to a church nearby. “From our investigation we have learnt that the church had issued eviction notices to all the tenants to vacate the building way back in 2015, since they wanted to demolish it. Many vacated but some challenged the notice in the court,” police said. Due to the same court case, Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) said they would not be removing the debris of the collapsed building and will only lift the debris that had fallen on the main road to facilitate smooth movement of traffic.
In another incident, an elderly person who was trapped under the building rubble was rescued at Khille Mohalla. The incidents of buildings collapsing were also reported in Mandya and Davangere districts, but no one was injured in these incidents.
Earlier on Wednesday, Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said he has sought a report on the damage caused to the agriculture and horticulture crops due to continuous downpour in several parts of the state.
Bommai said he has issued directions to officials concerned regarding the measures to be taken once the rain stops. According to Bommai, the confusion over taking up repair work in Bengaluru has been resolved and maintenance contractors should take up the repair work. Bommai explained if contractors refuse, then the civic agency should undertake road repair work and hold back the security deposit of the maintenance contractors.