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Rajakaluve development will take time, Bommai tells Assembly

The Bommai administration has earmarked Rs 1,500 crore to develop mega stormwater drains to prevent flooding in the city
harath Joshi
Last Updated : 13 September 2022, 10:52 IST
Last Updated : 13 September 2022, 10:52 IST
Last Updated : 13 September 2022, 10:52 IST
Last Updated : 13 September 2022, 10:52 IST

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Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai told the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday that improvements to rajakaluves (stormwater drains) in Bengaluru will take, at least, more than a year as encroachments need to be removed first before taking up works.

Bommai, who is also the Bengaluru City Development minister, was responding to a question by former Congress minister Krishna Byre Gowda.

The Bommai administration has earmarked Rs 1,500 crore to develop mega stormwater drains to prevent flooding in the city. “All of it has been tendered, but for us to start work, there are encroachments in the form of buildings that must be cleared first,” Bommai said.

Bommai said Bengaluru had not witnessed such “high, persistent” rainfall. “Water is bound to overflow when the capacity of the rajakaluves at the time of their formation is juxtaposed with the amount of rainfall,” Bommai said. “Development of rajakaluves takes time. We're still completing works sanctioned when the Congress was in power. It's been four years. What I've ordered will take one-and-a-half years,” he said.

In his written reply, Bommai said Bengaluru has 633 rajakaluves spanning 859.90 km. Of this, 490.10 km primary and secondary drains have been developed and the remaining 469.90 km are yet to be covered.

Gowda, who represents Byatarayanapura, said ‘Brand Bengaluru’ was taking a hit due to repeated instances of flooding. He pointed out, based on Bommai’s written reply, that the only 63.45 km box drains and u-shape drains were developed in the last three years. “Blaming others is secondary, but this primary work of developing rajakaluves needs to be done,” Gowda said. “Developing rajakaluves will solve 80 per cent of the problem.”

The CM assured the Assembly that rajakaluve development will be a “continuous” process. “In addition to Rs 1,500 crore, I’ve given another Rs 300 crore. We will make available more funds and keep at it until all 859 km of rajakaluves are developed,” Bommai said.

Responding to an intervention by Mahadevapura BJP MLA Aravind Limbavali, Bommai said he had ordered sluice gates to be installed at 160 lakes.

“Also, we have a stormwater drain master plan. This will be improved based on the rainfall to reassess carrying capacity. We will redraw and make necessary additions,” he said.

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Published 13 September 2022, 10:52 IST

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