IISC experts warn of more PES-like flooding

In the wake of the recent incident of water from Rayasandra lake flooding the PES College campus in Electronics City, experts from Indian Institute of Science (IISc) warn that many other parts of Bangalore are prone to flooding as lake beds and rajakaluves have been encroached upon.

The Centre of Ecological Sciences, IISc, had prepared a report on the pathetic condition of lakes and stormwater drains and submitted it to the government in 2009. But experts point out that the report lies in cold storage and no corrective measures have been taken so far.

Prof T V Ramachandra, senior scientist, Energy and Wetland Research Centre, CES, IISc, said: “We had prepared a detailed survey of prime lakes in Bangalore City. After this, periodic surveys of some lakes too were conducted. The list includes Kempambudhi lake, Sankey Tank, Agaram lake, Varthur lake and Bellandur lake, to name a few. Many stormwater drains around lakes and flowing through main roads like Vittal Malya Road were also studied. We found that there was no change so far in anything. Bangalore is prone to flooding because lake boundaries have been tampered with, stormwater drains have been encroached upon and outlets have also been choked. Lake breaching is not new to Bangalore and officials have not been serious about it. The natural channels have also been tampered with leading to flooding even on City roads.”

IISc experts also point out that warnings issued by the Indian Meteorological Department annually about heavy downpour seem to have fallen on deaf ears as there seem to be no precautions taken. Repeated court and Lokayukta orders also seem to have had minimal effect.

Reacting to this, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Commissioner N Lakshminaraya said PES College was not under BBMP limits. Thus it was not for him to comment.

“In case of 55 lakes that are under BBMP limits, I assure you that nothing untoward will happen as we have taken care of everything. In case of lakes handed over to BBMP (by the Bangalore Development Authority), we will ensure that there are no encroachments and other problems.”

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