As rain gets intense, no respite for helplines

As rain gets intense, no respite for helplines

Helpline numbers at the civic agencies are ringing off the hook following the heavy downpour in the last two days, as desperate callers seek help on waterlogged roads, flooded houses and uprooted trees.  

Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has received 683 calls since Sunday evening on sanitary pipeline blockage and manhole overflow.

The Board said it had solved 574 complaints and the remaining have been assigned to the engineer in-charge.

In the same period, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) got more than 300 calls. Much of the complaints have emanated from Bengaluru South, which received the maximum rains. The complaints concerned overflowing manholes that flooded the roads hampering the two and four wheel riders.

“Unfortunately, commuters have to struggle riding when it rains,” said Aravind B, a regular commuter who called the helpline to report the flooded road.

“It’s the same story every year. I had called the helpline on the flooded road. It’s difficult to get through and even if they register the complaint, we’ve no idea when they’d   solve the issue.”

Absence of storm water drains that usually channel the rainwater into nearby lakes cause the flooding. Since most drains are encroached, water flowing into them get diverted into roads and basements of residential buildings. In some places, the storm water drains are still under construction.

BWSSB officials said the underground drainage (UGD) system they maintain is meant for sewage and cannot hold large volumes of rain water during heavy downpour.

An official said many residents who have built rainwater harvesting structures have released the water collected from their rooftop into the UGD.

“If there’s heavy rains, water would clog the UGD and trigger manhole overflow and flooding of roads,” the official said.

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