Friday, July 29, 2005

Is city tough enough to handle hard rain?

Is city tough enough to handle hard rain?
BCC Confident It Is Capable Bangalore Has Topographical Advantage Over Mumbai
The Times of India

Bangalore: The comparison between the two cities, commercial capital Mumbai and IT capital Bangalore, is like chalk and cheese, say people who’ve lived in both. But can the city fraught with infrastructure woes, take on rain beyond 178.9mm (heaviest recorded in the last decade), which is just a fraction of Mumbai’s 995mm...?

Should the city be battered with rain of the magnitude that is now deluging Mumbai, can namma Bengalooru cope?

“If there is a 5-inch rain tonight, we can handle it,” says BCC technical adviser (infrastructure) R. Jaiprasad. He attributes this to the massive desilting operations under way since early June this year. “Once the silt from drains is removed, rainwater discharge will be faster and capacity will be more. For instance, natural valleys in the city have a fall of 120 metre for 11 km. The key to prevent flooding is to clear drainage system... we are working at it,’’ he says. Only Koramangala valley has a fall of 30 mt for 13 km — which is why the area is flooded when there are minor downpours.

But how civic-wise is the city, insofar as infrastructure issues go? Explains the present BCC engineer-inchief P.K. Srihari, “We have equipment, manpower and new methods of motivation. Praharis, ambulances and other rain-related equipment comprise physical infrastructure. We have 75 personnel across four control rooms, any given day. And to avoid staff absence, everybody has to give out attendance over the wireless. But yes, critical roads in the city need to be attended to.’’

Bangalore also has a distinct topographical advantage over Mumbai, urban experts point out. Compared to a Mumbai which is at the sea level, Bangalore is 920 metre above it. Which means that rain water recedes faster, as opposed to tidal waves lashing back onto Mumbai’s coast.

Besides, Mumbai’s annual rainfall is massive 2,200 mm as compared to Bangalore’s 900 mm.
But urban planners agree that nothing can withstand a Nature in its ravaging fury.

The heaviest recorded rainfall in Bangalore in the last decade was on October 1, 1997 with an intensity of 178.9mm Heaviest ever rainfall was in August 1890. During heavy rain — 162mm — in August 2000, civic authorities had to pump out one crore litres of water, for 20 days from the City Market. By Bangalore’s standards, 125mm is ‘heavy rainfall’.


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