With hardly three weeks left for the onset of monsoon, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is yet to take measures to prevent flooding in low-lying areas. Most of the BBMP engineers, who were to supervise the works, were busy with election duties.
According to Meteorological Department, the city is expected to receive around 70 mm rainfall in June.
A senior BBMP official said commissioner Siddaiah had instructed all the zonal commissioners and chief engineers to keep track of calls received by the control rooms, and the Forest Department Cell officials were told to cut trees which have weak roots.
The official said, “BBMP had identified around 230 flood-prone and low-lying areas. We constructed retaining walls and the number has now come down to 75. We cannot take any measures here as people have constructed houses in low-lying areas, where water flows naturally. So when it rains, it floods. We will instruct our engineers to clear water during those days.”
BBMP has nine control rooms in its zones. Prahari teams and forest teams also are deputed in these zones.
M K Gunashekar, Opposition leader in the BBMP Council, said the works were not taken up all these days as the officials, especially engineers, were busy with election duties.
“They were supposed to be geared up before the monsoon, but they have failed. I urge the commissioner to direct officials to take up de-silting work.”
BBMP chief engineer (Storm Water Drain) H C Ananthswamy said ward engineers were busy with election duties and will take up de-silting work in their wards soon. “The SWD Department takes up only new construction works and not de-silting work,” he said. BBMP engineer-in-chief B T Ramesh said they had started taking up de-silting work.
A senior councillor told Express that contractors who had taken up de-silting work earlier were yet to receive their payment.
“We have discussed the matter many times in the council meeting. In fact, the council gave its approval to clear pending bills. While old contractors were not paid, BBMP called for a tender before the code of conduct was enforced. So far work order has not been issued. Till then, de-silting work will not be taken. De-silting work should have been completed by now,” the councilor said.
So Far So Good
Every year, Gali Anjaneya Temple on Mysore Road gets flooded with drain water.
A few months ago, BBMP authorities constructed a wall to prevent sewage from entering the temple premises. A temple official said that water had not entered the temple premises this time. “It is too early to say as it is only pre-monsoon rain. We should wait till June.”