BANGALORE: Year after year, the same terrible rain tragedy is played out. Open drains turning into death traps and the civic authorities coming out with knee-jerk reactions. And crores going down the drain.
After nine-year-old Geethalakshmi was washed away at Bilekahalli off Bannerghatta Road on Monday night, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) gave assurances that it will take adequate steps to prevent such incidents.
Heavy rains in the past few days have once again exposed the city’s creaking infrastructure. A reality check by Express in many areas has revealed how open drains spell danger. At some places, there are no proper barricades, and at others, people dump waste into the drains, resulting in flooding.
It passes through Mysore Road at various junctions and the lack of safety measures is a cause for alarm. At Nayandahalli junction, there are sand-filled gunny bags instead of strong barricades. These in turn pose a threat to two-wheelers. On the other side of Mysore Road, this drain becomes narrower and passes next to a graveyard. When it rains, the water from the drain enters the graveyard. As a result, surrounding areas get flooded.
The ground below a metal barricade surrounding a drain has been dug up next to Karnataka Vidyuth Karkhane Limited. With a footpath leading to this, it could be dangerous. “A few days ago, a dog fell into the drain. Fortunately, it could climb out as the incident occurred during the day,” Sheela, a homemaker who stays nearby, told Express.
At the LB Shastri Nagar-Jyothinagar junction, sewage water enters nearby storm water drains, causing flood in the area. “This is a common sight during the monsoon. The water later enters Vibuthipura lake, where BDA is carrying out rejuvenation work,” said Abdul Gafoor, a resident of Shastrinagar.
Gali Anjaneya Temple
A worker of Gali Anjaneya temple on Mysore Road said though the flower vendors near the temple premises dump dry flowers into the drain, it does not pose a major threat. The culprits are some plastic and garment industries near Padarayanapura where plastic and pieces of cloth are thrown into the drains, which get stuck at the vent near the temple. “When it rains, the drain water enters the temple premises,” he said.
Mahesh, a resident of Heritage Estate apartment on Doddballapur Road in Yelahanka, said there are small drains on either side of the road. One drain flows parallel to the footpath where pushcart vendors sell snacks. The leftover food is thrown into the drains. Even the trees were chopped to widen the road. “With no trees, rain water can neither enter the drain nor get absorbed into the ground. Hence, the road gets flooded,” Mahesh said.
The drain in Siddivinayaka Colony at Banashankari 3rd Stage is covered on one side, while the other side is left totally open. A few commercial establishments are situated next to the drain, and a person could easily fall into the drain. Rekha, a homemaker who stays in the vicinity of the drain, said, “There are several kids who play here in the evening. When it rains, the current of the sewage water is quite strong. I have, on several occasions, warned the kids not to play too close to the drain,” she said.
M Z Ali, a resident of Wilson Garden, said the storm water drain at the border of Shanthinagar and Chickpet overflows during rains. This drain runs up to Anepalya, where recently, houses were flooded after a downpour.
BVK Iyengar Road: On Tuesday evening, a heavy downpour ensured the drain on BVK Iyengar Road overflowed. A passerby said that the area is so flooded during rains that it is difficult to believe there is a drain underneath. This poses a major danger to people, he said.