Face to face with sheer neglect

Nearly every monsoon, one hears of incidents of people falling into open drains.
Yet, nothing is being done about this problem. There is a hue and cry for a while but after that, the fuss dies down and the drains remain open and neglected.

Many school children find it difficult to board the bus as open drains leave no place to stand. Areas like Cox Town, Ulsoor, HSR Layout, Kanakapura Main Road, BTM Layout, Koramangala and even Sarjapur have such open drains.

They have not only caused a nuisance to the residents staying there but have also become potential breeding grounds for diseases.

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials maintain that they do plan on covering many of these drains — but in the areas that they have managed to do so, the job is either half-done or the repairs are already falling apart.

One such area, that has been posing a potential hazard to pedestrians, is the stretch on Kanakapura Main Road between Sarakki Signal and Puttenhalli Cross.

The slabs of stone near the drain here are shaky and due to the Metro work taking place, the condition of the roads is also pathetic.

In fact, many residents in that area find it difficult to walk on the footpath or even wait for a bus, as the bus stop is right next to the drain.

 “The bus stop near the drain is a real nightmare as there is very little space to stand. If the bus comes a little too close, there are chances of one falling right into the drain. It’s almost like walking between the devil and the deep sea,” explains Vijiyan Rao, a professional.

There are open storm-water drains all around Koramangala too. The stretch between 80 Ft Road that joins Ejipura, in particular, is quite risky for pedestrians. Vehicles are constantly passing through this route, making it all the more difficult for people to pass through.

This inconvenience is also faced by physically-disabled people.
Shesha Prasad, a professor at BNM Institute of Technology, says, “Being a physically-disabled person, it is already a challenge to commute freely in the City. Now, with these drains posing such threats — especially when it rains and the roads get flooded and slippery — the risk only doubles. I feel it is time for the authorities to do something about the situation.”

In areas like Ulsoor, Madivala, Koramangala and HSR Layout, the storm-water drains that are left open also leave a terrible stench.

Doctors warn of infection spreading among those who live close to these drains. “Many of the drains have stagnant water and become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The smell only makes the neighbourhood more unhygienic, making one very vulnerable to hoards of infections and diseases,” says Dr Satish, a general physician. So, the next time you’re next to one of these open drains, you better watch your step.

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