City can tackle flooding, says BDA

Bellandur Lake with frothing. DH file photo

Bengaluru can handle flooding during heavy rains, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) declared on Tuesday after a successful run of the sluice gate at Bellandur Lake that aims to check frothing in the city’s largest lake. 

The sluice gate, installed at Bellandur Kodi in southern Bengaluru, underwent a final run that spanned six hours each on Monday and Tuesday. 

The BDA assurance is aimed at people living in low-lying areas around Bellandur and Varthur Lakes and the downstream. The memory of the downpour on August 15 and 16 last year is still fresh in their minds. 

Besides controlling frothing, the sluice gate will also regulate the flow of water and check flooding. “If there is no flooding downstream for the next two days, then we can assure Bengalureans that the city is ready to handle heavy rainfall and there will be no flooding,” BDA Commissioner Rakesh Singh told DH

During the trial run, BDA officials and marshals kept a close watch on areas around Bellandur and Varthur Lakes and all downstream channels. During the trial on Monday, two-and-a-half metres of water was let out downstream. On Tuesday, half-a-foot of water was released downstream. Hourly readings were taken. 

A BDA engineer said the sluice gate would act as a dam in controlling the flow of water upstream and downstream. There is also a provision for storing some water. 

In 2017, the BDA had proposed to construct five sluice gates but cut down the number to two because of logistic reasons. It has, however, constructed only one and is grappling with land acquisition issues for building the sluice gate at Varthur Kodi. 

The expert committee that was formed to revive Bellandur Lake thinks it’s too early to say there will not be any flooding in Bengaluru. A member of the committee said the real test would be during heavy rains, pointing out that the real problem with the Bellandur Lake was pollution and mismanagement, not flooding. The government should instead focus on speedily building sewage treatment plants, he added.

 

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City can tackle flooding, says BDA

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