A cesspool of filth

A cesspool of filth

Messy affair

A cesspool of filth

Church Street is easily one of the City’s tourist hotspots but the stretch is slowly but steadily losing its charm. 

With the onslaught of rains, the street has become almost unwalkable. A noxious smell from the stretch refuses to leave your nasal until you leave the street. The existing potholes get deeper after it rains and the underground drainage pipes that run through the road are almost 60 years old and are unable to contain the rainwater. 

Ashoka, who works on Church Street, says that although there is regular maintenence by the corporation and BWSSB, the road still looks messy. “The pipes get blocked regularly and each time they fix it, it goes back to the way it was,” he says. 

The reason the pipes remain blocked even though they are cleaned is because Church Street is home to numerous restaurants and hotels that dispose of their edible waste into the drains. 

R Venkatraju, the chief engineer for the BWSSB, says, “We have notified these restaurants multiple times but they won’t listen. They dispose things like dalda and oils that combine together and block the pipes.

It’s manageable if one restaurant is doing it but all of them do it so it clogs the pipes.” He adds, “We have people unclogging the pipes two or three times a week but because the pipes are old, it doesn’t help.”

 According to him, Church Street is supposed to be a part of Tender SURE project but he isn’t sure whether they will start work on the road now or after the completion of Cunningham Road.  The road turns in to a mini-swimming pool every time it rains. Sridevi (name changed), says, “The water stagnates for weeks. People come and clean it but then it rains again, and it goes back to the way it was.” 

Abhiram, who frequents the road, says, “It is one of the busiest streets in Bangalore but there is always sewage overflowing. Before laying new road, they should make sure all the sewage pipes are fixed.”

 Ahima Keshav, a student of St Joseph’s College of Arts and Science, says, “There is always a carpet of filth and you can’t get through the stretch without holding your breath.” At times, the unclogged debris from the drains are left by the side of the road. Ashoka says, “Every morning people come and clean the road but they don’t remove everything,” he says.