The stormwater drain (rajakaluve) at 1st Block HRBR Layout has been causing untold troubles for the residents. The filth, the unending mosquito menace and sewage water pumped into the drain have put people’s health at serious risk.
Despite many complaints, the BWSSB and BBMP have done little to address the issue. P R Swamy, an elderly resident of the area, said: “My wife and I fall sick often because of the mosquito menace. We have also developed breathing problems and get ourselves hospitalised frequently. The stench from the choked stormwater drain is unbearable and the authorities haven’t done anything about it.”
He said he had recently written to BBMP chief health officer Dr Devaki Umesh and BWSSB chairperson Gaurav Gupta about the health hazards being caused by the stormwater drain (SWD) for many years. “But I haven’t received any favourable response.”
M N Vidyashankar, the then BWSSB chairperson, had promised the residents 10 years ago that he would put an end to the problem within six months. “Many months and years have passed and the problem remains.
When I spoke to BWSSB PRO Sarala Kumari she told me that a Rs 1,000-crore World Bank project is being undertaken to divert sewage water from the SWD. Neither the PRO nor I know when the project will start in Kalyan Nagar and when it will be completed,” said Swamy.
“After calling the chief health officer half a dozen times, workers came and sprayed insecticide a couple of days ago. I understand this was done to reduce the mosquito menace, but I could have got this done myself with the help of the health inspector of my ward,” he said.
BBMP chief engineer (SWD) H C Ananthaswamy washed his hands of the problem saying his department doesn’t handle cleaning of the SWD and that residents across the City face similar problems.
Nikhila, another resident, said: “The smell from the drain is so overwhelming that we are forced to keep the windows of our house shut. Quick and effective steps should be taken to tackle the problem.”
Residents are now pinning their hopes on the World Bank project. A BWSSB official from the waste water management zone told Deccan Herald: “The project is yet to take off. A proposal in this regard was sent to the Urban Development Department two weeks ago. Once it is approved, the sewer system will be replaced.”