30 lakes breach in Bengaluru, trigger flood fears in residential colonies

Colonies developed on irrigated paddy fields will definitely submerge when lakes breach: Official

Published: 07th September 2017 07:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th September 2017 11:38 AM   |  A+A-

Vehicles wade through a waterlogged street after heavy rains in Bengaluru . | EPS

Express News Service

BENGALURU: With heavy rains continuing, more than 30 lakes have breached while another 10-15 are almost full. This is after 50-60 years that so many lakes have filled to the brim at a time and many have breached, flooding the adjoining residential colonies. BBMP officials and lake experts have cautioned that most low-lying residential areas are likely to get flooded due to the overflow as they are situated at the level of the rajakaluves (major drains).According to BBMP, the following lakes - Begur, Yelahanka, Madiwala, Somsundrapalya, Kaudenahalli, Dorekere, Uttarahalli, Kudlu Doddakere, Rachanahalli, Nagvara, Bellandur and Jakkur among others are overflowing. 

Speaking to Express, K V Ravi, Executive Engineer (Lakes) said,“All these lakes are overflowing and will affect low lying areas. We are taking measures to counter the situation but low lying areas will be submerged when there is a breach in the lakes. Most layouts are formed on what were earlier irrigated paddy lands and when it rains, these lands will definitely submerge. While forming the layout, they should have raised the height of the land to two meters. Further, residential areas are at the level of rajakaluves and that’s why they get flooded when lakes breach.” 

Ram Prasad, Convenor, Friends of Lake, said that after six to seven decades, 70 per cent of lakes have filled up and water from the three valley system in Bengaluru is flowing to the river system. 
He added, “Due to heavy rains, more than 30 lakes have breached and water has entered the colonies in Koramangala, Vasantpura, Gottigere, Peenya, Ring Road and Sun City. Some people have built their houses in lake areas while others have encroached land.”

Excess water from Begur lake should flow to Madiwala lake and from there to Agara lake.  Also, from Yelahanka lake, water should flow to Jakkur and then to Rachenahalli lake, added Ravi. “Unfortunately, the gradient of the rajakaluves is not proper, thereby affecting the interlinking of lakes. Excess water has no place to go and will obviously enter low-lying areas.”

Naveen, who works at Manyata Tech Park, says the outer areas in the tech park are already water-logged. “Since Sunday night when it rained heavily till 3 am, the outer areas of the tech park, where construction of new buildings is going on, are completely water-logged. The Rachenahalli lake has overflowed and water has entered the fringes of the tech park. It is clear that the excess water is not flowing to the next inter-linking lake.”

Eswarappa Madivali, the convener of People’s Right to Campaign for Water, has questioned the government’s move to denotify 11 dry lakes in the city. “When it rains heavily, where should the water go? The catchment areas are now occupied by religious structures, playgrounds, apartment complexes and what not. As it is, most lake areas have shrunk due to encroachments and the rajakaluves have been destroyed. There is no space for the excess water to flow as the linkage between upstream and downstream lakes have been completely destroyed.” 

Overflowing lakes
Yelahanka-Jakkur- Rachenahalli
Dorekere-Uttarahalli- Vasanthapura  
Somasundarapalya, Nagawara,
Bellandur, Mestripalya, Janardhan, Allahalli, Dasarahalli

Brace for more showers
Heavy rainfall is forecast in most parts of the state, save coastal Karnataka, for the next two days. According to Indian Meteorological Department, rainfall accompanied with thunder and lightning is likely to occur at most places over South Interior Karnataka. IMD has also issued a weather warning for South and North Interior Karnataka, stating that heavy rain was likely.  According to Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Cell, several parts of interior Karnataka received light to moderate showers during the day. For Bengaluru, which received light showers during the day, heavy showers were forecast for the night. There was also a risk of inundation in several low-lying areas, as rainfall exceeding 124mm was forecast for several localities in Bommanahalli region.

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