A downpour of woes

Poor infrastructure

A downpour  of woes

The last few days have seen rains wreak havoc on the city, bringing to light the infrastructural shortcomings and the negligence of the civic authorities.

 While overflowing manholes and uneven roads have become commonplace, motorists are also at a risk of being struck by falling tree branches or losing balance
on the bumpy stretches.

Pratima Hebbar, a resident of Yelahanka, works in a private firm in Cox Town. She commutes 22 km one way to her workplace and says that she dreads travelling
by her two-wheeler whenever it rains.

“My two-wheeler was stuck in knee-deep water near the Cox Town underpass for
nearly an hour this Tuesday. Add to it the stench emanating from the water and it was a perfect example of the poor planning in the city,” says Pratima.

She adds that she has seen people dumping garbage in stormwater drains, which causes water to stagnate. “This blocks the smooth flow and raises an unbearable stench,” she says.

The traffic pileup during rains is another irritant and is leaving motorists in the lurch. Sometimes the gridlock from the KR Puram overbridge stretches up to Indiranagar, says Vinay Nagaraj, an employee of Hewlett Packard.

 Vinay, a resident of Banaswadi, regularly commutes to his workplace in Bagmane Tech Park in CV Raman Nagar. “Whether it rains or not, the traffic situation is terrible on any given day. I have to leave home by 8.30 am everyday, else I won’t reach my destination on time. The ongoing road work and unplanned bus stops on Old Madras Road contribute to this patheticsituation,” says Vinay.

He is of the opinion that the authorities should be better prepared when it comes to fixing dug up roads and covering half open manholes so as to reduce the inconvenience to the public.

This view is shared by Kantesh M Badiger, a resident of Vijayanagar, who also feels that one of the causes of waterlogging is the mushrooming of illegal structures on raja kaluves.

“There’s really no outlet for water to drain out whenever it rains. This issue must
be looked into seriously and appropriate measures must be taken,” he says.

Adding to the existing woes of the commuters is the frequent uprooting of trees and the falling of branches.
Lokesh Nayak, a resident of Chamrajpet, says, “I commute by a two-wheeler and I am scared whenever it rains because I don’t know when a tree will be uprooted or a weak branch will fall on me. So I try to stay off the roads during the rains,” he says.
“The only solution to this  problem would be regular checking and pruning of weak and aged trees across the city,” he adds.

He also points out that he has never seen any such activity being done in and around his locality, where a tree was uprooted recently.

An official with the State forest department, who did not wish to be named, points out that weak trees which are prone to falling must not be planted along roads with heavy traffic.

“However, all the trees that were uprooted in the recent downpour were healthy ones. We are on a constant drive to identify weak trees and people can always call us whenever they spot a precariously hanging branch in or around their neighbourhood,” he assures.

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