Saturday, May 28, 2005

It poured chaos on Bangalore

The Times of India

Bangalore: At 4 pm on Friday, the city plunged into darkness.

Forty-five minutes of 59.2 mm rain and the famed IT City was thrown entirely out of action. Waist-deep water. The rain that thumped the city claimed about 150 trees (according to BCC control room and police reports), 130 electricity poles between Jayanagar and J.P. Nagar, though there were no reported casualties in terms of loss of life. The worst casualty, however, was traffic across the city, an hour after the rain traffic was ubiquitously affected for hours, till late evening.

Serpentine rows of cars, autos, BMTC buses and two-wheelers yawned for endless hours on every arterial, sub-arterial and interior roads. Lalbagh Road, Double Road, Ulsoor Road, Banaswadi, Lingarajpuram, Richmond Road, Vittal Mallya Road, Airport Road, among many others, were absolutely chaotic as irate commuters honked furiously and decibel levels reached a crescendo before giving up. And waiting for eternity for traffic to clear.

Predictable flooding in low lying areas and roads saw an absolute clash of chassis with swish cars struggling in tyrehigh rainwater. A usually calm Resthouse Road was inundated with mud water and this being the only exit point for M.G. Road and Church Street, was chock-ablock with centimetre progress of vehicles. Nandi Enclave in Banashankari 3rd stage, which houses over 300 apartments, was flooded and the fire services department had to land up later to help pump out water.

Yellamma Dasappa Maternity Home’s basement was flooded and hospital equipment was damaged. Two houses collapsed at Deenabandhu Nagar, but loss of life was reported. Darasahalli area was plunged into darkness, the only lights being that of vehicle headlights.

For the first time, BMTC buses were allowed on Cubbon Park, to ease a maddening traffic situation. Six Prahari vans with ten workers each, as mayor Narayanswamy informs, were doing the roads across the city helping restore order.

The newly introduced Cobra services of the police force, numbering eight, were dashing about on roads helping with civic work. The Cobras are empowered to get into one-ways and go onto pavements but Friday’s rain was too much even for them as the water reached upto engine levels at some areas. “We are fighting nature, unsuccessfully’’ contend BCC and police officials.


• On Bannerghatta Road, dug-up pits saw the mud and earth cave in leading to treacherous terrain.

• Desilting work was done at many places — Bilekahalli, Lingarajpuram — but the excavated silt was dumped at the site itself and the rain ensured that it was washed onto the streets, leading to flooding.

• On Vittal Mallya Road, unfinished work on three major constructions and lorries moving around with excavated earth led to blockages.

• Elgin apartments, Shivajinagar, Hosur Road, according to BCC and police control rooms, were in bad shape and authorities had to slum it out to restore order.


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