Thursday, April 15, 2010

Four hours of rain, and 50 trees gone

Four hours of rain, and 50 trees gone

Power supply disrupted, transformers damaged, complaints make BBMP helplines ring without pause

Bosky Khanna. Bangalore



Rain-bearing cumulonimbus clouds gathered, and the city was lashed with a sudden downpour that left nearly 50 trees uprooted in different parts of the city. The showers, accompanied by thunder and lightning, began late in the evening and lasted over four hours. Although the spell of rain was brief, it wrought havoc as falling trees brought down electricity wires.
People in Yelanhanka got their first taste this year of hailstones. Ambedakar Jayanthi celebrations were thrown out of gear in different parts of the city. A pandal under which MLA Narendra Babu had organised a function at Mahalakshmi Layout was brought down by the rain. There were no casualties. By 9 pm, the city recorded 37.4 mm rainfall. HAL airport recorded 8.4 mm and Yelahanka IMD office recorded 30.2 mm rainfall.
A bus plying through Sanjaynagar with about 20 passengers on board had a narrow escape, as a tree fell on it. There were, fortunately, no casualties. Nearly 10 trees fell in Vijaynagara. One of these fell on a Baleno car and badly damaged it.
Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) offices across the city were flooded with complaints. Prahari vehicles were seen making the rounds, attending to complaints of tree fall and water logging. Tree fall cases were reported in OMBR Layout, HBR Layout, Mattahalu, RT Nagar, Sanjaynagar, NGF, Sholaynagar, Jayanagar, JP Nagar, Chikkana Layout, Sultanpalya, Vijayanagar, Katriguppe, JP Nagar, Sapthagiri Layout and BEML 3rd Stage, 11th Main.
Tree fall incidents were reported opposite the Sanjay Nagar police station, near MEI Layout and in Sapthagiri Layout. Three trees hit the ground near Crazy Park in Rajajinagar constituency. Strong winds accompanied the showers for some time, and electric poles came down in the wind at some spots in the city. A cable line snapped in Frazer Town, and residents complained of power cut.
Traffic was reduced to a crawl on several parts in the city on account of the rain. A traffic jam was reported as vehicles moving towards Nimhans from KH Road were stopped as a lorry fell into an overflowing drain. Water logging was reported in several low-lying areas in the city, including Magadi Road, 10th Cross, Vasanathnagar, near the General Post Office and parts of Mysore Road.
Phone lines at the Bescom control room were kept constantly busy as there was a relentless flow of rain-induced complaints. Tree falls had led to problems in the transformers, leading to a shut down in power supply. "We are flooded with complaints about tree falls. This leads to snapping of transmission lines. At least 200-300 houses face power cuts if even one line is affected," said a Bescom official.
The areas that were affected the most were Sanjayanagar, Samudhaya Bhavan, Begur, RT Nagar, Kamalanagara, Basaveshwara, Rajajinagar, Kengeri Satellite Town and Yeshwanthpura. Severe cases of water logging were reported from Srirampuram and Prakash Nagara and Rajajeshwari Nagara.

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