Along with rains comes misery. That’s the story of most big cities in India, and Bengaluru is no exception. This Independence Day, many parts of the city woke up to inundated roads and homes after overnight rains. Besides rainwater, people had to deal with snakes and filth entering their homes, and boats had to be used for evacuation. While sudden heavy rain (more than 14 cm in four hours) led to the situation, what it highlighted was that the city’s drains were incapable of handling such a downpour.
What has to be noted here is that this happens almost every time it rains. So, who is responsible? It’s natural that a part of the blame should go to the civic officials for not ensuring that storm water drains are cleared and encroachments are removed before the rainy season began. But, equally responsible are Bengaluru’s citizens and greedy builders.
Civic workers engaged in rescue and relief operations pulled out tonnes of plastic and thermocol from drains—the primary cause for the flooding. It’s ironic that people have no qualms about dumping garbage in drains but blame civic agencies when they find their homes swamped by rainwater. The amount of plastic wraps and thermocol found in drains shows how packaging material used by e-commerce companies and others has added to the city’s enormous garbage problem.
Despite having a reasonably efficient waste collection system, Bengaluru’s landscape is peppered with garbage heaps. Because, many find it convenient to dump waste in vacant plots than hand it over to conservancy workers who insist on segregation. Besides, encroachment of storm water drains and lakes by builders and individual landowners has made the civic body’s task all the more difficult.
For the situation to change, it’s imperative that people realise and fulfill their responsibilities. What is required of them is better civic sense. Dumping waste in drains is a sure recipe for disaster. There is no point in keeping your home clean if it means dirtying the neighbourhood.