Rain exposes tall claims of state, BBMP

Published on Aug 31, 2022 12:14 AM IST

“In the last 24 hours, the state registered 822 mm of rainfall,” Karnataka revenue minister R Ashok said on Tuesday.

Residents being ferried by firefighters after the area was partially submerged following incessant rain, in Bengaluru on Tuesday. (ANI)
Residents being ferried by firefighters after the area was partially submerged following incessant rain, in Bengaluru on Tuesday. (ANI)
By, Bengaluru

A day after heavy rains lashed parts of Karnataka leading to waterlogging and traffic snarls in several districts, the after effects of the downpour were visible across the state on Tuesday also. A few parts of the state recorded light rain on Tuesday also.

The state government and civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) came under sharp criticism from the residents as life was thrown out of gear in many parts of the state. Several localities and roads in India’s IT capital were flooded on Tuesday morning as heavy rains exposed the civic apathy and poor quality of public infrastructure in Bengaluru.

“In the last 24 hours, the state registered 822 mm of rainfall,” Karnataka revenue minister R Ashok said on Tuesday.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued a yellow alert for Ramanagara, Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Mysuru, Mandya and Kolar districts of Karnataka till Wednesday. According to the IMD, light to heavy moderate rains are expected to continue for next few days in these places in the state. The department has also warned of thunderstorms with lightning in a few areas.

After a few areas were submerged in Bengaluru, rescue operations had to be carried out. Police officials, firefighters, state disaster response force (SDRF) officers and other agencies undertook the rescue operations in localities near Sarjapur Road and Outer Ring Road (ORR).

“ORR (Outer Ring Road) What kind of drainage cleaning was done? The kind where you scoop it out, and keep it at the side of the road. And which then goes into the drains again. How many crores were “spent”? Silicon Valley road of Bengaluru. Perhaps good to build waterways along with Metro,” Whitefield Rising, a citizen’s action group, tweeted while slamming the government and the BBMP.

The group further tweeted: “ 83 crore spent across Bengaluru to clean the drains. 7 crores to desilt 400 km of drains in KR Puram, Mahadevapura, Bengaluru South, Bommanahalli, RR Nagar, Yeshwantpur, Byatarayanapura, Yelahanka and Dasarahalli ACs before the monsoon.”

Bengaluru has received 254mm of actual rainfall between 1-28 August as against an actual of 113mm, registering an increase of 125%, data from the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) shows.

The residents also criticised BBMP alleging the civic body has done little to minimise the challenges even though hundreds of crores are spent each year to clean drains, fill potholes, clean garbage and improve public infrastructure.

Following waterlogging at several places, police stations in the city posted information on traffic diversions.

“Motorists are advised to take left turn at Silkboard junction if they have to proceed towards Marathalli and KR Puram via Inner Ring Road, since Outer Ring Road is waterlogged,” the Madiwala police station wrote on its Twitter handle.

“Because of yesterday (Monday), rain caused heavy waterlogging near Echo World. Traffic movement is slow, our officers and staff working their best to smoothen the traffic movement. Our request is if it possible please avoid this route TQ (sic),” the Hal-Old Airport road traffic police said in a statement.

But none of these measures were able to resolve the issues on ground.

“We wanted a walkable city, but this isn’t even drivable!,” said Yogesh Prabhuswamy, a Twitter user while sharing a video in which the entire ORR could be seen inundated as vehicles carefully waded through nearly one to two feet of water.

“The sad part is, all of this is very fixable. What’s missing is good intent,” Ashwin Mahesh, an urban infrastructure expert, commented on Prabhuswamy’s post, indicating how the city’s administration continues to fail its residents.

An entire settlement of Pourakarmikas or civic workers of the BBMP in Brookefield area was inundated. The civic workers submitted a complaint on Tuesday demanding immediate action from the commissioner towards provision of homes and the provision of temporary shelters.

“There have been repeated demands from the Union (earlier memorandum is enclosed) to ensure the provision of proper housing for pourakarmikas, and the chief minister had also given an assurance to provide housing after the 4 day strike. However, no steps have been taken, placing powrakarmikas and their families including young children in an extremely vulnerable condition,” a statement released by the pourakarmikara sangha read.

“I visited the major spots where there was excessive rain damage,”said former minister and BJP legislator from Mahadevapura constituency Arvind Limbavalli.

“I have instructed the officials to hold a meeting with the concerned representatives and know the reasons behind (waterlogging and flooding), find a permanent solution for it and take suitable actions,” Limbavalli said.

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