Rains expose mess caused by lopsided development in India's tech capital Bengaluru

The city, dubbed India’s tech capital, is home to several technology companies and many of their offices have been lashed by the rains, prompting employees to work from home.

Published: 06th September 2022 03:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th September 2022 06:12 PM   |  A+A-


Firefighters help an elderly woman move to a safer area after heavy rainfall in Bangalore, India, Monday, Sept. 5, 2022. (Photo | AP)

By Online Desk

BENGALURU: Life for many in Bengaluru city was disrupted on Tuesday after two days of torrential rains set off long traffic snarls, widespread power cuts and heavy floods that swept into homes and submerged roads.

With several parts of the city still heavily waterlogged, videos on social media showed people hopping onto tractors to get to work. Many schools were shut on Monday over the heavy downpours and authorities have warned of interruptions to the water supply.

Boats were deployed to rescue people submerged in floodwaters.

Meanwhile, heavy rains coupled with negligence on the part of the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) claimed the life of a 23-year-old B.Com graduate after she came in contact with a live electric pole in Whitefield in Bengaluru.

The victim has been identified as Akhila, a resident of Siddapura in Whitefield who was working as an administrative staff member in a private school.

The family of the deceased blamed the negligence of BESCOM for not maintaining the box connecting live wires and keeping it open. Also, they demanded action against BBMP for not taking action on flooded roads for a couple of days.

The city, dubbed India’s tech capital, is home to several technology companies and many of their offices have been lashed by the rains, prompting employees to work from home.

Even though September is usually the wettest month in Bengaluru, this year has seen more rains than normal.

The two zones that make up the city, Bengaluru Urban and Bengaluru Rural, have seen 141 per cent and 114 per cent excess rainfall respectively.

On Monday night, 131.6 millimeters (5.2 inches) of rain was recorded, making it the wettest September day in the last eight years.

According to the India Meteorological Department, Karnataka is among the regions that have received maximum rainfall this year. It has seen 34 per cent more rainfall in the past three months than what it usually receives this time of the year. Further, this year is reportedly one of the worst rain-hit years in the history of Bengaluru. The city has received the highest rainfall this year since 1971 --except for 1998 when the city received 725 mm of rainfall--with as against the cumulative rainfall of 313 mm for the season June 1 to September 5,  Bengaluru has received 709 mm of rainfall during the corresponding period this year.

While there is no direct connection between the excessive rains in Bengaluru and climate change, there is growing evidence that the monsoons are being altered due to climate change. Scientists say this is making extreme events such as excess rainfall the new normal.

READ HERE | BJP-Cong blame game as Bengaluru infrastructure collapses amid floods

Meanwhile, overflowing lakes and drains continue to flood streets in Bengaluru creating havoc among the residents. 

Due to the overflowing of Shelavanta and Varturu lakes in the nearby apartments, SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) officials used boats to rescue stranded people. SDRF teams were also deployed at Ramagondanahalli to rescue stranded TZ Apartment dwellers.

In Yemluru, residents are being ferried through tractors.

Civic administrative body BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) has deployed water pumps in many apartment complexes to pump out water into the drains.

The government offices in KR Puram, Global Tech Park, and Manyata Tech Park have been flooded.

Although the water levels at Eco-Space and RMZ and Wipro Gate in Sarjapura have reduced, water on the streets has made traffic tough to be managed.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai noted that Bengaluru city has received unprecedented rainfall this monsoon season — the highest in the last 90 years — adding that the IT corridor has been under rainwater owing to overflow of tanks and illegal encroachments and constructions of buildings, particularly in Mahadevapura ward of Bengaluru.

The CM blamed the opposition Congress party for maladministration and granting permission to construct buildings on the encroached lands.

He said that the Karnataka government has taken a decision to release Rs. 600 crores for the management of floods in Bengaluru and other districts.

The city’s civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has a 24×7 helpline (2266 0000) and WhatsApp helpline (94806 85700), along with zonal helpline numbers.

The toll-free number 1533 is also reportedly acting as the rain helpline.

(With inputs from Associated Press and Express News Service)


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