Reduced lake area reason for floods in city, says Palike commissioner

Reduced lake area reason for floods in city, says Palike commissioner

The total lake area in the city has shrunk from 2,342 hectares to 918 hectares leading to massive flooding, according to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad.

Speaking at the BBMP council meeting on Monday, the commissioner explained that the extent of lakes in Bengaluru before 1973 was 2,342 hectares, which came down to 1,992 hectares by 1974. It further decreased to 1,582 hectares in 1992 and 1,083 hectares in 2002.

By 2007, the total lake area is hardly 918 acres.

“The proportion of the rainfall is still the same (900 mm annually) for the last 50 years but the water storage capacity has reduced drastically, leading to flooding,” said Prasad.

He added that sewage pipes have been connected to the stormwater drains and during rains, rainwater gets mixed with the sewage affecting the natural course of water flow. Further, dumping waste, sewage and debris have choked the stormwater drains. He recalled that in 2006 the city was flooded and ten years later, the city faced a similar situation.

“Encroachment of stormwater drain is the main reason of floods at Bilekahalli, Kodi Chikkanahalli, Madivala and Sarakki,” said Prasad justifying the demolition drive.

Village maps
As the Palike members sought to know the basis for identifying the stormwater drains, the commissioner explained that the village maps remain the basis for the survey.

He said the demolition at Doddabommasandra was carried out following a 300-page report on the encroachment on stormwater drains.

He said the builders have been demanding to consider the Comprehensive Development Plan-2007 (CDP-2007) as the basis, which was not possible.
He added that based on the High Court and Supreme Court directives, the survey of stormwater drains was carried out three years ago.

The leader of opposition, Padmanabha Reddy urged the Commissioner to consider diverting the course of stormwater drain to minimise the damage to the private properties.

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