Going down the drain

Going down the drain

Hygiene issues

Going down the drain

The network of storm-water drainage in the City, which spans four major valleys and comprises of primary and secondary drains, seem to be in desperate need of an overhaul.

Facing the brunt of premature rainfall coupled with the perpetual waste-management crisis, they are causing serious hygiene-related concerns among the residents of neighbourhoods around them.

The drains continue to be used as makeshift landfills and are cluttered with garbage. And to make matters worse, the spells of rainfall that the City has been witnessing over the last few days have converted the drains into a veritable mess.

Officials from the BBMP claim that the drains are regularly monitored and cleaned out as required. “This responsibility comes under the look-out of the chief engineer of storm-water drains. The ward engineers also look after the secondary drains. In case water-logging takes place in a particular area, they carry out de-silting,” says Shivasharanappa S Khandre, the public relations officer of the BBMP.

However, citizens have a different story to tell. They maintain that the storm-water drains remain unclean and the recent showers in the City have done nothing to help the situation. Diya, a resident of Ejipura, agrees that the apathy of the BBMP and the garbage crisis have contributed to the problem. “It’s pretty unhygienic — it’s one thing to simply drive past a storm-water drain but people who live around it are constantly exposed to the risk of falling ill. Many stretches of the drains are blocked because of which water accumulates and creates a mess. It would make a huge difference if the authorities were to check problem areas prone to blocks and clean out the drains,” she says.

She isn’t the only one concerned about this. Sudha, a homemaker, states, “The sad part is that despite complaining, nothing is being done to clear up the storm-water drains. Mosquitoes breed in still water and the lack of hygiene in areas immediately surrounding the drains cause different diseases.”

She acknowledges that the problem is hugely compounded by the garbage issue but in this respect, she feels that residents of the areas in the vicinity of these drains are more to blame. “Instead of segregating solid waste and disposing of it in the proper manner, people leave the trash lying around, which then gets washed into the drains. Bangaloreans have to understand the need to deal with their trash properly,” she reasons.

Aditya, a professional, adds that the hygiene aspect of this issue really comes into question in areas like Koramangala, which are dotted with many eateries. This is particularly the case in the first block, where many restaurants actually fringe the edges of the storm-water drain. “In some cases, the management of the eateries are the ones messing the drains and should be hauled up for it. It seems to me that the BBMP has no desire to see the City improve,” he says bitterly.

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