Over 600 flats vacated after Yelahanka lake overflows
Over 1600 residents in 604 flats in Bengaluru’s Kendriya Vihar apartments were asked to vacate their apartments after the Yelahanka Lake overflowed due to heavy rains on Sunday.
Multiple agencies worked all day to pump out water in several other localities of Bengaluru after heavy rains lashed parts of India’s technology capital on Sunday night.
“Due to the heavy rain in the city, in the Yelahanka zone, in the Kempegowda ward limits, Yelahanka Lake over-flowed and water flooded into Kendriya Vihar and surrounding areas,” city’s civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) said in a statement on Monday.
On Monday morning, around 2 am the Yelahanka zone recorded over 130 mm of rain in a few hours, leading to waterlogging recorded around 4 feet in some places. The BBMP, fire services and others had to move the residents to safer locations. Yelahanka is about 15 kms from Bengaluru city and is close to the international airport.
“18 NDRF teams used boats and tractors to ferry the residents in and out from the apartment,” the BBMP added.
Gaurav Gupta, BBMP chief commissioner, on Monday, said that action would be taken against officials who allowed the violations around the lake, which led to the incident. (What kind of violations?)
Several other parts of the city faced similar issues, with several people posting videos and pictures of inundated localities.
Manyata tech park, which houses some of the biggest global corporations, was also underwater. A picture showed people fishing on the water-logged roads of the park, located on Outer Ring Road.
“Bengaluru comprises a lot of ridges and valleys. In the past, settlements had been above the valleys, whereas the valleys were prime agricultural land fed by the lakes which were constructed along these valleys. Floodwaters used to flow along these valleys, and the agricultural land acted as buffers. However, urbanisation now has been taking place along the valleys as well. The canals constructed and rerouted post urbanisation are usually insufficient to carry the amount of water that used to flow through the valleys. This has resulted in flooding along the valleys,” Raj Bhagat, a senior program manager (geo-analytics) at WRI India, told Hindustan Times on Monday.
He added that there are many valleys like the ones like Sarakki - Madiwala, Hulimavu - Madiwala have completely transformed while the Bellanduru - Varthur KC Valley and the Hebbal valley are currently undergoing these transformations.
On Manyata tech park, he said that it was in the middle of a valley and has faced floods many times since it came into being and is likely to continue unless more drains are available to carry higher quantities of water along the valley.
The flooding in Yelahanka is a stark reminder of Bengaluru’s rapid and unplanned growth, which has allowed the mushrooming of residential and commercial buildings, which are under the constant threat of destruction during downpours. Encroachment of lakes and stormwater drains (SWD) has exacerbated the problem in Bengaluru, where civic infrastructure is crumbling, even though expenditure on new public projects never seems to end.
Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, too, acknowledged that there have been widespread encroachments of lakes and SWDs that was affecting the natural flow of water.
The development of layouts on lake beds is not a new phenomenon in Bengaluru, which has less than 200 lakes in a city. Earlier, the city counted 1000 such water bodies that date back to the early 16th century.
“The water which is clogged in the apartment has been channelized towards the kaluve (SWD). The kaluve which connects Yelahanka Lake to Jakkur lake is 8-feet, and it has been requested by the government to expand the kaluve to 33 feet. In this regard, necessary action will be taken by the officials,” Gupta said.
Bengaluru has received 364% more rains between November 1 and 21 (till 5.30 pm), as it has, so far, recorded 195 mm of rains against the normal of 42 mm this month.
Bengaluru’s residents have been relentlessly complaining about the bad quality of roads in the city that has become a hurdle to everyday life. Most roads in Bengaluru are laden with pot-holes, slowing down traffic and making life for commuters, especially two-wheelers and pedestrians, difficult.
Rains continue to pound Karnataka and several other parts of the country as depression over the Bay of Bengal has had a disastrous impact on several regions across states.
A total of 24 people have lost their lives in November alone, data shows while nearly 200 animals have also died due to the rains. Several low-lying regions of the city are badly impacted. At least 227 homes have been completely damaged and another 187 are partially damaged, according to data from the Karnataka Disaster Management Authority. Around 92 kms of roads have been damaged in Bengaluru Urban district, data showed.