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BBMP, wake up, get monsoon-ready

BBMP, wake up, get monsoon-ready

Bengalureans have gone from suffering under oppressive heat to being miserably stranded on the roads due to pre-monsoon rains in just over a week.

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Last Updated : 20 May 2024, 23:13 IST
Last Updated : 20 May 2024, 23:13 IST
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It is the same old story every year. Bengaluru literally drowns in woes with the first rains, while the civic authorities are caught napping, as usual. Of course, we know that even the best planned cities of the world get flooded under extreme rains, but Bengaluru does not need extreme rains to be flooded, or for traffic to go haywire, thanks to the quality of ‘development’ in the city and the lack of preparedness of the BBMP.

Bengalureans have gone from suffering under oppressive heat to being miserably stranded on the roads due to pre-monsoon rains in just over a week. 

According to BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Girinath, nearly 200 spots were waterlogged across the city, including the much-pampered central business district, while over 170 big trees and 690 branches had fallen. The rains have caused traffic disruptions leading to huge pile-ups across the city. The BBMP categorises the current rainfall as ‘scattered’. One can only imagine what the situation will be like once the monsoon rains start.   

The BBMP chief’s recent assertion that it was fully geared to tackle the situation appears hollow given the ground realities.

In Yelahanka, 22 villas in a luxury residential locality were flooded due to an overflowing stormwater drain. It later turned out that the drain’s entry to a nearby lake had been blocked. This eventuality could have been avoided had the BBMP cleaned the drain well in advance.

In Bommanahalli area, residents whose houses were flooded had to fend for themselves as the BBMP’s contract with a private party to pump out flood water had expired and was not extended.

Bengaluru did not receive any rains for a continuous stretch of over 150 days, and the civic body thus had ample time to prepare. According to Girinath’s own admission, 25 per cent of the 350 km-long stormwater drain system is yet to be desilted. In many parts of the city where the corporation has taken up cleaning of tertiary drains, the work is either incomplete or the debris has been left on the road, leading to flooding and slush.

Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, who does not lose an opportunity to put forth grandiose projects to project ‘Brand Bengaluru’, will do well to ensure that the city’s basic infrastructure is fixed before thousands of crores more are poured into politicians dream projects that turn into nightmares for the citizens. The BBMP has clearly been found lacking in its ability to manage the city during the coming monsoons. It is high time the minister cracked the whip.

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