BENGALURU: Some residents of Hosakerehalli in Rajarajeshwarinagar were in for a shock late on Saturday night when the Hosakerehalli lake bund breached, flooding houses and inundating roads nearby. This come close on the heels of a breach at the Doddabidrikallu lake in West Bengaluru.
Ramesh, a resident of Hosakerehalli, told The New Indian Express, “It was between 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. when we saw the lake breach and the residents immediately informed BBMP, BWSSB and the fire and emergency services. An hour later, water started coming on to the roads and flooding houses. The water entered my house too and we did not know what to do. However, there was minimal damage. The BBMP team reached the spot quickly and helped drain out the water from the houses.”
Many residents had earlier pointed out that the lake had become a waste dump and that it was frothing. The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had taken up rejuvenation work on the lake at a cost of Rs 9 crore in , which was set to be completed before monsoon, but had remained incomplete.
The lake is still under BDA’s control and is yet to be handed over to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). According to BDA and BBMP engineers, the contractor assigned to construct and maintain the weir, and part of the broken lake wall. Also, the sluice gate to control the water flow was not closed properly. Water flow in the lake increased with heavy rain and a portion of the wall collapsed, leading to water entering houses in Pushpagirinagar in Rajarajeshwari Nagar.
The engineers said BWSSB was also taking up storm water drain works by digging along the edge of the lake, which only made matters worse. The BDA engineers tried to control the flooding using sand bags. Though they sought to reassure the locals that everything was under control, the latter were not convinced. They blamed the officials for the lapses and losses they had suffered.
Many motorists were also stranded. Prabhu, an affected two-wheeler rider, said, “Around 11.30 pm, I saw water on the road, but I thought it was because of the rain. I thought I could ride along, but I was wrong. The engine of my vehicle seized and it was difficult to push it through the flooded stretch.”
Another resident, Y Sadashiviah, said, “The BDA has never given importance to this lake. Recently, we complained about the weak lake bund, but no action was taken. Now we are suffering.”
BBMP commissioner BH Anil Kumar and Mayor N Goutham Kumar visited the site around 5 am on Sunday to take stock of the situation. "About five-six families are affected and measures were taken to drain the water from these buildings. The ongoing lake rejuvenation works was the main cause for the breach of the bund. A meeting will be held with BBMP, BWSSB and BDA on Monday on rejuvenation of the lake," he said.