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Residents urge overhaul of SWD infrastructure to prevent monsoon floods

Several citizens, especially in the Whitefield and Mahadevapura areas, told DH that the reckless dumping of debris and soil into drains is the main cause of drainage flow obstruction, which eventually leads to floods during the monsoon.
Last Updated 28 March 2024, 20:57 IST

Bengaluru: Over the last few weeks, city authorities have focused primarily on meeting the city’s water needs. However, citing Bengaluru’s annual history of monsoon floods, people have pointed out that it is time for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to work on remodelling and clearing the stormwater drains (SWDs) to ensure flood-free monsoons. They said that the preparations must begin early.

While a complete remodelling of the city’s sewage infrastructure is a long-term project, the civic body should at least look at clearing out encroachments and widening the deliberately narrowed-down SWDs. Several citizens, especially in the Whitefield and Mahadevapura areas, told DH that the reckless dumping of debris and soil into drains is the main cause of drainage flow obstruction, which eventually leads to floods during the monsoon.

The residents of Hemmigepura alleged that the BBMP recently approved construction over a SWD in the area.

“Constructing over the stormwater drain is illegal. It closes the drain and blocks the flow of sewage. This will reverse the flow back to the apartment complexes in the vicinity, thus affecting nearly 400 families,” said one of the residents on condition of anonymity.

Yet another resident added that several such illegal constructions have been taking place in the area over the past few years. Murali Govindarajulu, a member of the ward committee in Whitefield, expressed concern over the narrowing of drains affecting the percolation of stormwater into the soil.

“The bigger problem is concrete boxing of these SWDs which prevents the percolation of water,” he said. He also noted that many SWDs have recently been converted into “perennial streams of sewage water.”

He added that it is the responsibility of the civic body to ensure the quality of stormwater drains rather than focusing only on boxing up the drains.

“There has to be strict enforcement on preventing sewage from entering storm water drains. Garbage and sewage water must be controlled at any cost,” he said.

A BBMP official who spoke to DH asserted that the civic body does not tolerate any violation of guidelines on footpaths and stormwater drain encroachments.

“Immediate action will be taken against people who violate the guidelines,” the official said.

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(Published 28 March 2024, 20:57 IST)

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