Drain choked with debris across Bengaluru may spell trouble in monsoon
By Sangeeta Bora & Tushar Kaushik | Express News Service | Published: 01st May 2017 02:41 AM |
BENGALURU: The stormwater drain flowing from Ulsoor via Jogupalya, Domlur and Diamond District (on Old Airport Road) and along the KGA Golf Club’s north boundary has been blocked with debris since last year.
There has been no effort whatsoever to clear this debris despite the BBMP and various government agencies making noise about clearing encroachments on rajakaluves and even carrying out a few mega-demolition drives last year.
The width of the stormwater drain has been reduced to about half its size owing to the dumping of the debris. The drain passing outside Hotel Royal Orchid and beside Golf Course has been extensively covered by construction debris. Come monsoon and everyone living along this stormwater drain will have to bear the burnt.
According to a post on an online platform by Muralidhar Rao, a member of the advocacy group Praja RAAG, the BBMP had permitted Embassy Group to cover 350m of the drain in 2014, and Karnataka Golf Association had agreed to this on the condition that it would never flood the golf holes. The Embassy Golf Links tech park is located nearby, off Outer Ring Road.
In the post, Rao stated, “How an agreement between a private association (even if promoted by KSTDC) and a builder be sanctified by BBMP to allow the covering up of a rajakaluve is not quite understood.”
When Express visited the area of encroachment, a caretaker said it was a private property. The caretaker also said that someone from the BBMP had just come in to inspect the drain. He added that such inspections occur regularly.
Embassy Group stated the land where the encroachment has occurred is not their property, and they made a good case of how their own construction over the stormwater drain did not impede the flow in any way.
Thomas Joseph, a resident of Diamond District, points out, “Looks like they are covering up the open drain to build apartments here. If there is a drain nearby, there will be no takers. Since it looks like a big group is involved in the encroachment, people are scared to complain. We are worried that the rain this year will bring more floods in our locality.”
The debris restricts the flow of water through the drain, which could cause flooding of nearby areas. Domlur and Jogepalya are two such areas. In fact, two holes at the golf course were flooded twice before during monsoon.
When Express brought the issue to BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad and Joint Commissioner (East) Yatish Kumar, both claimed ignorance about the ongoing encroachment. The BBMP Commissioner said, “I have no idea about such an encroachment, but I will immediately enquire about it.”