Saturday, April 24, 2010

Will it rain misery during monsoon?

Will it rain misery during monsoon?

Y Maheshwara ReddyFirst Published : 23 Apr 2010 05:07:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 23 Apr 2010 09:21:04 AM IST
BANGALORE: Every pre-monsoon shower brings relief to the people of Bangalore. An hour later, it also brings misery.
Around 100 trees have fallen due to heavy rains over the last week, bringing traffic to a halt and damaging many vehicles.
With the tragic death of sixyear- old Abhishek who drowned in a stormwater drain at Lingarajapuram last year still fresh in our minds, the roads and lowlying areas in the city continue to be inundated after the rains.
The government had made tall claims by forming a task force committee last year to mitigate monsoon-related problems in Bangalore. However, the city authorities have been caught unawares as even portions of roads caved in, after they had been dug up to lay water pipes. It took over two hours to bring a crane and lift the vehicles on Old Patta Road.
Traffic movement on busy roads like MG Road, Old Madras Road and CMH Road is also affected by Namma Metro works.
On the combined problem of waterlogged roads and obstruction due to Metro works, N Sivasailam, MD, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd, said, “We are taking measures to remove garbage and debris from drains to avoid stagnation of rainwater on the road. We are coordinating with BBMP and BWSSB (Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board).” Rainwater enters houses in low-lying areas like Pai Layout, Udyanagar, Jogupalya, Kodihally, Basaveswaranagar and JP Nagar.
Faulty drains are said to be the reason. Many cement roads in Jogupalya have no provision for rainwater to enter drains.
The silt in shoulder drains in front of the ISRO quarters near ESI Hospital, Indiranagar is a picture of negligence, as even a drizzle can flood this patch of the road with rainwater.
“We have taken up desilting of primary and secondary drains. I have instructed the officials to clear debris and silt from shoulder drains and to identify low-lying areas and depute BBMP personnel to remove garbage from such localities,” BBMP commissioner Bharat Lal Meena told Express.
Meena added that dried branches of trees were also being removed to avoid inconvenience during monsoon. “The BBMP staff working at control rooms will coordinate with BWSSB and Bescom (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company).” However, citizens complain that Bescom employees arrive late and delay the removal of branches from roads.
“We have to make several phone calls before they arrive.
We had to wait for over an hour for them to switch off power at Sanjaynagar on April 14. We have sufficient manpower to remove fallen tree branches from the roads within a few minutes, only if the Bescom employees cooperate,” said a BBMP official on condition of anonymity.
Bescom MD Tushar Girinath denied the charges. “Though power goes off whenever a tree falls on electric wires, it’s better for BBMP men to remove branches after confirming with Bescom employees if power was switched off or not. We are coordinating with BBMP during monsoon. Our aim is to avoid inconvenience for people.”

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