Friday, April 23, 2010

Vijaynagar hobbles over fallen logs

Vijaynagar hobbles over fallen logs

Nearly 40 electric poles and 43 trees fell in this area of the city; one day later, much repair and restoration work remains to be done

Sunitha Rao R, Anusha Ravi, Juwairia Mekhri
Bangalore



Vijaynagar woke up to quite a mess on Thursday morning. Wednesday's rain trouble spilled over. Roads blocked by fallen trees remained, in the main, blocked. Electric lines were affected, and without power, many residents could not pump water. So the deluge, ironically, left residents' lips dry. Vijaynagar, Govindrajnagar, Basaveshwaranagar, and parts of Rajajinagar were among the areas in the city worst affected in the aftermath of the rain.
Nearly 40 electric poles in Vijaynagar were damaged on Wednesday, and at least 43 trees were uprooted. The 5th and the 8th Main Roads were blocked. DNA reporters visited many spots where families were attempting to cope. With disrupted vehicular movement, after wooden logs clogged many roads, even the BMTC buses plied on changed routes. BBMP control rooms continued to receive complaints, urging that the fallen trees be cleared.
BBMP commissioner Bharat Lal Meena visited many of the worst affected areas on Thursday morning. Speaking to DNA after his visit, he said that the BBMP, Bescom, and fire personnel were working in coordination to clear roads and restore power and water supply.
BBMP engineers held that it was the first time that a disaster of this magnitude had struck Bangalore, and the suddenness of it was unprecedented. Many of the trees uprooted were either Gulmohur or Silver Oak, they said. MLAs and corporators were seen joining hands with the general public in providing aid.
Meena cautioned against parking vehicles beneath old trees while it rained, and urged citizens to inform the BBMP of any old or dried trees. "The monsoon contingency plan will be implemented soon. Pruning of trees will be taken up in association with environmentalists and green lovers. Engineers have been authorised to hire the services of private people, if needed, during the monsoons. Desilting the secondary and tertiary drains will also be taken up to avoid water clogging on roads," said Meena. He added that all the necessary equipment, saws, power generators, tractors and other equipment would be procured.
H Ravindra, the corporator of the ward, said that 36 fallen trees had so far been cleared, and damaged electric poles were being replaced. Restoration operations were on in full swing, he said, and nearly 400 workers from civic agencies are at work in the area.
"Electricity was switched off as a precaution. Residents have been requesting restoration of power supply. We 're doing everything to make it possible by this evening," said H Ravindra.
Personnel from the fire department have been clearing the roads since 7.45 am. Government employees and temporary workers have set about clearing roads since Wednesday. Even residents of the area have pitched in, helping in loading tractors with logs and offering the workers refreshments. The corporator also offered workers their meals. Although power and water complaints were common, no one appeared to be complaining of snapped telephone lines.
BBMP plans to auction the wood from the fallen trees, and the money collected will go towards repair and restoration.

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