Taken up as challenge to restore rain battered Bengaluru: Karnataka CM Bommai
"I have given Rs 1,500 crores for the development of stormwater drains, I have yesterday released Rs 300 crore to remove all encroachments and do a pucca structure along the stormwater drains"
Published: 06th September 2022 12:24 PM | Last Updated: 06th September 2022 05:58 PM | A+A A-
BENGALURU: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday blamed the previous Congress governments' 'maladministration' and unprecedented rains in the capital city for the deluge.
He said, despite all odds, his government has taken it up as a challenge to restore the rain-battered city, and make sure that such things don't recur in the future.
Owing to the torrential downpour that lashed the state capital for the last couple of days, several areas are still underwater with houses and vehicles partially inundated, thereby affecting normal life.
"Karnataka, especially Bengaluru has not received unprecedented heavy rain. For the last 90 years, such rain has not been recorded. All the tanks are full and are overflowing, some of them have breached, and there have been continuous rains, every day it is raining," Bommai said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said a picture is being portrayed that the entire city is facing difficulties, which is not the case.
"Basically the issue lies in two zones, particularly the Mahadevapura zone for reasons such as the presence of 69 tanks in that small area and almost all of them have either breached or are overflowing, secondly, all establishments are in low lying areas, and the third is encroachments," he listed out.
Noting that his government has taken it as a "challenge", the CM said officers, engineers and workers and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams are working 24/7.
The previous government recklessly permitted building houses and apartments in tanks, tank bunds and buffer zones. Congress was solely responsible for the present situation, he told reporters.
The CM said the previous Congress Government never thought about the management of tanks. But the incumbent government has taken it as a challenge and released Rs 1500 crore towards the construction of the much-needed Rajakaluve, he said.
"We have cleared lots of encroachments and we will continue to clear them. We are installing sluice gates to the tanks so that they can be managed better. I have instructed officials to ensure that the control room works 24/7. We have started dewatering in most of the areas. Other than one or two areas almost all areas have been dewatered," he said, adding that rain is not giving respite to work properly as there have been rains every day.
On Monday, encroachments worth Rs 300 crore had been removed. Instructions are given that the construction quality of Rajakaluve must be good, Bommai said. A system will be made to ensure that there would be no problems with the free flow of water. At the same time, encroachment will not be allowed, he said.
Blaming "maladministration and unplanned administration" of the previous Congress governments for the present misery, Bommai said they had given permissions for construction activities "right-left-centre" in the lake areas, on the tank bunds and buffer zones.
They had never thought of maintaining the lakes, he said. "Now I have taken it up as a challenge. I have given Rs 1,500 crores for the development of stormwater drains, I have yesterday released Rs 300 crore to remove all encroachments and do a pucca structure along the stormwater drains and for the infrastructure, so that there are no impediments and bottlenecks in the flow of water."
Observing that the T K Halli pump house in Malavalli taluk of Mandya which pumps Cauvery water to Bengaluru is affected due to overflowing Bheemeshwara River and water from the surrounding lakes, the CM said, two pump houses were affected, flood water is being drained out, but it will take two days to drain out the water and to resume work in full capacity. An alternative plan has been formulated for water supply to Bengaluru, he said.
Around 8,000 bore wells under the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and 4,000 under Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will be activated and they would supply water during the disruption in Cauvery water supply to areas.
Water in tankers will be supplied on behalf of the government to the areas where there are no bore wells, he added. "I request the cooperation of people for the next 2-3 days."
Opposition Congress hit back at the CM for blaming the previous Congress government for the flood-like situation.