BANGALORE: Come monsoon, the IT hub is seen struggling with water woes of a different kind. A rain- fall for even two hours is enough to flood the city environs. However, to everyone’s great relief, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)has started taking up measures to prevent a chaotic situation wherein the storm water drains are totally clogged or overflowing.
This year, the BBMP has taken up cleaning of storm water drains on a war footing which is estimated to cost crores of rupees and expected to be completed well before the monsoons.
“Last year, due to lack of funds, we could not undertake storm water drain works in an extensive way. However, this year, we have taken up the works in Kalasipalyam, Vijaynagara, Jayanagar and and many other areas,” says Hemchandra, Joint Commissioner of South Zone. He added further, “The storm water drain works is basically a precautionary measure that needs to be taken up before the monsoon as some small problems may be left unattended. However, the accumulation of waste is more in the market areas, hence, we are carrying out the works in such areas on a priority basis. There the blocked drains need to be cleared to prevent water clogging.”
When City Express interacted with a few shopkeepers in Kalasipalyam, on the initiative taken up by the BBMP, to our surprise, people fumed against the authorities. “The officials remember to dug up the road but they forget to finish the work on time. It has been more than two months, still the roads lay unattended,” says Fahrook, an employee at Janatha Store.
Voicing a similar opinion, Ananad S, a shop owner said, “they have placed these wooden plank for us to walk to our shops, however, for senior citizens like me it becomes very difficult. Besides, every morning when we reach our shop, these dug up roads will be filled with garbage and waste. We try to alleviate our problems by burning the dumped waste in the drains. Even, the corporator’s office is very near to this place and he travels through this road regularly but doesn’t seem to be bothered.”
When City Express contacted the area corporator P Dhanraj, he said, “The BBMP has sanctioned Rs 68 lakhs for the storm water drain work in my area. We will finish the work within one month.”
Stressing on the need for balancing the ecology and having a flood free city, Yellapa Reddy, an environmentalist said, “Rainwater that falls on the hard surface like concrete pavements does not flow in a proper direction to these drains. Due to excessive dumping of waste like building debris, plastics, that the rain water carries, clogs the drains. Hence, to channelise this in the proper direction, it is important to clean the drains.”
“In a natural ecosystem, a rainfall of 30-40 millimetres is naturally absorbed by the land, however, rainfall below 100 millimetres can definitely cause floods, and a rainfall above 100 millimeters will create flash floods. Such a grave situation can be avoided only when people take up the moral responsibility to avoid using plastics and stop throwing waste on the footpaths,”the noted environmentalist added.