Long-term plan in works to ensure lesser flooding in Bengaluru: BBMP chief

In an interview with The New Sunday Express, he said this was one of the long-term solutions being thought of.

Published: 29th May 2022 06:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th May 2022 01:41 PM   |  A+A-

BBMP Chief Tushar Girinath. (Photo |  Nagaraja Gadekal, EPS)

BBMP Chief Tushar Girinath. (Photo | Nagaraja Gadekal, EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Understanding the problems of the capital city of Bengaluru and why it is getting flooded, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Chief Commissioner Tushar Girinath, who took over just 23 days ago, said the solution is to have channels and pipes from lower gradients to higher gradients so that water does not stagnate and the damage is minimised. In an interview with The New Sunday Express, he said this was one of the long-term solutions being thought of.

You have handled multiple posts over the years. What is your assessment of the city? What is needed and what is good, as a citizen and as an official?
The good thing is that there is a system in place for everything which has been developed over the years. But of course, it needs to be constantly improved, like now there is a company for solid waste management. Over the last decade, the growth of Bengaluru, with a population of around 1.3 crore, has been 40-45 per cent. With people coming in and the city growing constantly, there is always a gap of what is present and what is demanded which can be addressed only with proper coordination.  

Despite big funding, the city floods with just 90 minutes of rain. Is there any plan, long-term vision to address this?
Not just the state capital, but any city will get flooded when there is a sudden and heavy downpour in a short span of time, especially in low-lying areas. The first challenge for us now is to ensure there is no damage. One of the long-term solutions being thought of is to have channels or pipes connecting lower areas to higher   or other areas so that water flows. There are parts where there is no difference in gradients or it is very high. The water and sewage lines need to be made conducive.

You had said potholes are like craters or pits. Now with the monsoon round the corner, is BBMP prepared?
New potholes will appear. The focus is to fix the identified ones. The BBMP has identified some and citizens are also updating the list on the app. The pre-monsoon showers set back pothole-filling by 20 days. But we have 5-6 days and most will be filled. After that it will be a demand-based approach. 

What are the preparations for the BBMP elections? Have any discussions been held for the delimitation and reservation?
The work on the draft for delimitation is completed and the file has gone for printing. It will be submitted to the government on Monday after which there will be two weeks’ to seek objections. Then it will be finalised within a week. We are sharing the information with the Bhaktavatsala Committee on the OBC, reservation and population and this exercise is being done simultaneously. 

Lack of coordination between agencies has been seen as a major problem for civic works, how is it being addressed?
There are many agencies working like BMRCL, BBMP, BWSSB, BESCOM, GAIL, OFCs and others. The Chief Secretary-headed committee used to hold meetings once in 10 days and it will start soon. Talks are also on if the urban development Additional Chief Secretary can hold them as he also knows the city well. It would seem that there are fights but that is not so. The presence of a head only ensures that priorities are set. The working of BBMP has also been decentralised and officials at zones and divisions have been told to be visible to people at the zonal and division level. The ward committees must also be strengthened to ensure problems are addressed. 

What is lacking and which needs to be done on priority according to you?
Public grievance system needs to be addressed. Citizens must be able to meet zonal and division officials and get their problems resolved immediately. The mechanism needs to be set right so that they do not have to come to the head office or to the BBMP Chief Commissioner, who should only oversee their work. But at present, it is one person for the entire 1.3 crore-odd population.


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