With monsoon approaching, BBMP yet to finish SWD work

With monsoon approaching, BBMP yet to finish SWD work

Remodelling work yet to be completed at a stormwater drain at Link Road, Seshadripuram. DH Photo/S K Dinesh

The pre-monsoon showers have begun, but the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike is yet to ready the stormwater drains (SWDs) in preparation for the rainy season.

Works relating to remodelling the SWDs, building walls, maintenance, fencing and desilting are still pending, with the civic body saying only half of the SWD works are complete. After a series of accidents involving the drains, the Palike had identified 366 vulnerable SWDs that need immediate attention.

"We've completed more than 70% of the work in the vulnerable SWDs, identified by the team of engineers last year," said Bettegowda, BBMP chief engineer for SWDs. "Work is complete in 339 SWDs using state government funds. Work is ongoing in another 33 SWDs, which we will complete soon."

Of the 842 km of SWDs, the BBMP has built permanent walls at 177 km. Last year, it began work to build walls for a further 212 km, but could only complete the work for 120 km and the work is underway at the remaining 92 km.

"The election model code of conduct and the pre-monsoon showers have delayed the SWD work," Bettegowda added.

The state government had provided Rs 1,100 crore to the BBMP to carry out the SWD work. "We've completed the work in places where accidents occurred last year and have taken precautions this time. We'd complete all the unfinished work before the monsoon," . Bettegowda said. 

Deccan Herald visited the Link Road near Seshadripuram and had a look at the wall construction work, which is progressing at a snail's pace. "I've been watching them work for the past five months. It doesn't seem to progress. The BBMP is extremely slow in finishing the SWD work," said Ravishankar, a resident of Link Road.

Deaths occurred due to drainage overflow in 2017

  • May 20: Rajkumar (24), a JCB operator, fell into a stormwater drain in Kurubarahalli near Basaveshwaranagar
  • September 9: An 18-year-old boy, Varun, was washed away in a drain near Seshadripuram
  • October 13: A priest from Kurubarahalli was washed away in a stormwater drain. Victim identified as Vasudev Bhat (32).
  • October 13: Nigamma (57) and daughter Pushpa (22) ran out of their house as water gushed in from an overflowing SWD near Laggere. Pushpa's body found near Kumbalgodu days later
  • October 15: Narasaama (17) washed away in an SWD near her house in CV Raman Nagar