More concrete, more flooding, warns IISc report

'Narrower drains, lack of buffer zone around lakes caused Aug 15 deluge'

More concrete, more flooding, warns IISc report

Increased concretisation, blatant violations of National Green Tribunal (NGT) orders on buffer zones and failure to clear encroachments on drains caused flooding in the city earlier this month.

The report entitled ‘Frequent Floods in Bangalore: Causes and Remedial Measures’, prepared by T V Ramachandra, Vinay S and Bharath H Aithal, from the Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc, explains the reasons that led to flooding in parts of the city during the torrential rain on August 14 and 15.

This is the IISc team’s second report on the city’s flooding. The first report was published in 2009. 

“In 2009, when the report was prepared, the width of stormwater drains was 40 metres but it has now reduced to 15 metres. This a violation of NGT orders. But the government is blind to it,” Ramachandra told DH.

The NGT orders stipulate a buffer zone of 75 metres around lakes and that stormwater drains should be 50 metres wide and a buffer zone should also be maintained around them.

“In case of ST Bed Layout, which was the worst-affected locality, the drain is just 20 metres wide and is highly cluttered. This shows the apathy of bureaucrats and politicians,” he said.

Another issue is the process of terming catchment areas dead lakes and denotifying them. There is no such thing as a dead lake. If the government implements its idea of denotifying catchment areas as dead lakes, there will be more flooding, Ramachandra warned.

Giving the example of Pattandur Agrahara lake in Whitefield, he said both the government and land sharks had dried the connecting drains before encroaching on the dried-up area for urbanisation.

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