BENGALURU: Residents of Bengaluru North, residing around Doddabidarakallu Lake, were in for a rude shock on Thursday. They woke up at 3 am and found themselves in four feet of water, gushing in from the lake. The residents, living in Ward 40, immediately called police and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) control rooms for help. Emergency response teams came to the spot at around 3.30 am, and started evacuating people.
This area falls under Rajarajeshwari Nagar zone. The lake spans 41 acres. According to BBMP’s initial assessment, two walls around the lake and the gate collapsed after water levels increased. BMBP officials blamed the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) for the mishap. They said that three years ago, BWSSB had shoddily laid pipelines to pump water from the lake to a sewage treatment plant, which led to this situation.
According to BBMP officials, water entered over 500 homes, of which 180 were severely affected. These houses are in Bhavani Nagar, Annapoorneshwari Layout, Muneshwara Layout, Andanappa Layout and surrounding areas. Over 20 cars, 40 two-wheelers, furniture and electric appliances were damaged. The BBMP had pressed eight JCBs into service to clear the water and create diversion channels to a nearby stormwater drain. The BBMP also placed sandbags along the lake walls and channels to control the flow of water.
BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar and Mayor M Goutham Kumar visited the areas on Thursday morning, and consoled residents. The officials were also directed to provide drinking water and food to these residents. Revenue officials were also directed to do a field survey of these properties and chalk out relief measures.
The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had recently handed over the lake to the BBMP. The officials said that paperwork for an official transfer had started two months ago, but it is yet to be completed.
The BBMP control room received calls from Munneshwara Layout, Bhavani Nagar, Channa Nayakana Palya, T Dasarahalli, Kempegowda Nagar 5th Cross, Hessaraghatta Main Road, Manjunath Nagar, Havanur Extension 13th Cross, Nagasandra Gundappa Layout, Annapoorneshwari Layout, Chikkabidarakallu Bhavaninagara, Chokkasandra, Zindal Nagar, Nelagedranahalli Main Road and surrounding areas.
‘BBMP to take measures’
BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar said that a permanent solution is being chalked out. He said there was no point blaming BWSSB, and that the BBMP will not levy any penalty. BBMP will take measures to repair damages, he said. BWSSB Chairman Tushar Girinath said water from the lake had overflowed in 2013- 14 too. Normally, water is drawn by underground pipes, but with this lake, since it is polluted, water was drawn by laying pipes near the gates. The breach was because the old walls could not handle the pressure of excess water.