The streets are filled with water when the rains lash out. The water rushes into the storm water drains with sewage from the nearby houses.
The potent mixture swirls through the drains till it is blocked by a solid wall of muck, rotting garbage and overgrown weeds. The stagnant concoction of faeces and stale water is what the residents of 1st stage, 1st block HBR Layout must live with everyday.
Although the citizens have requested that the storm water drains be cleaned and desilted, they have received no response. The reason for this inaction is because the area was divided into two wards four years ago when the BBMP took control. Currently, most of the storm water drains and the Sunday market area belong to Ward 24 while just opposite, a patch of the houses that are affected by the storm water drain belong to Ward 29.
Shobha Dayalu, a resident of Ward 29, says, “We can’t open our windows at night because it stinks so bad. You can see people coming and throwing garbage into the storm water drain, especially at night. The fences have been broken so they push sacks of garbage including meat in there. But when we complain to the corporator, he says it is not his ward and we should talk to the one from 24 but he sends us back here.” Metrolife spoke to Padmanabareddy, the corporator for Ward 29, and he says, “It doesn’t come under my ward.
The sewage is coming from areas like Jeevanahalli and Lingarajapuram.” He adds that his side of the storm water drain is properly maintained. Shobha, however, says that there are men who park their bikes right next to her house to urinate into the storm.
Govindaraju, the corporator for Ward 24, says, “My predecessor had the sewage line laid near the storm water drain and now the sewage line is broken. We are already working on a new one near Ring Road and it will happen in 15 days. We are trying to fix this.”
AS Narasimhan, who actively took part in keeping the area clean before BBMP intervention, says that there are 1000mm and 500mm sewage pipes that the engineers don’t even know of and they just find it convenient to let everything into the storm water drain.
The drain has been flooded with garbage from the nearby santhe that regularly takes place on Sunday. Local vendors see fit to throw their waste in there because there is no allocated space for garbage to be disposed off. Neelisa, a resident of Ward 24, says that it’s because there is no designated spot to throw garbage that people think they can litter the drains.
This putrid water also circulates under multiple shrines that have found their home on the dried up Kacharakanahalli lake bed. “We just want the storm water drain to be cleaned and fenced,” says Madhumathi Varadarajan, a resident of Ward 29. But authorities maintain that they do it on a regular basis and that there is no problem.