Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Adrift on Bannerghatta Road

Adrift on Bannerghatta Road
Deccan Herald

Rains have once again exposed the gross inefficiency of the authorities. Angry residents blocked traffic on Bannerghatta Road for nearly two hours.

Bannerghatta Road is in the news again. For all the wrong reasons, as usual.

Slammed by the downpour on Sunday evening, hundreds of residents of apartments along Bannerghatta Road took to the streets on Monday, protesting the “pathetic” state of civic amenities, which according to them, caused the flooding.

The angry residents — including those from the prestigious Mantri, Ranka, Oasis and Surabhi apartments — staged a road blockade near the Ring Road-JP Nagar junction in the morning and blocked traffic on Bannerghatta Road for nearly two hours.

They wanted the Bommanahalli City Municipal Council (CMC) to immediately desilt the choked drains and upgrade civic amenities in the area.

The residents were literally held hostage for several hours on Monday morning as overflowing water from a nearby storm water drain gushed into their apartment blocks. The basement areas of the apartments were flooded with water and filth, damaging several two-wheelers and four-wheelers parked there.

Students and office-goers in the apartments, where an estimated 1,000 families dwell, were badly affected.

“I failed to go to work as I was stranded inside my flat... This is a pathetic state of affairs,” Subhashini, a school teacher, at Mantri apartments, told Deccan Herald over phone.

Civic amenities in the surrounding areas are in a poor state and need to be upgraded immediately. “We have made several representations in the past in this regard, but to no avail. Hence, we resorted to protest,” K S Pai, Ranka Colony Residents’ Association President, said. Mr Arun Kumar, a resident of Ranka Colony, said clogging of the huge storm water drain that passes by is the reason for the flooding. Some apartments also faced a blackout for the entire day on Monday as power lines snapped, he added.

Elsewhere in the City, hundreds of houses in low lying areas, including Ejipura, BTM Layout, Koramangala, Airport areas, Banaswadi and Amarjyothi Nagar, were affected due to water logging.

Besides, 20 trees were uprooted across the City, according to Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) officials.

In Yelahanka New Town, several houses either collapsed or were flooded, especially those in the catchment area of the Allalasandra lake. The nearby Arkavathy layout area witnessed heavy water-logging.

The heavy rain over the past weekend has turned into a ‘quality test’ of sorts for BMP’s road works. Newly-laid roads in places like Malleswaram, Rajajinagar, Vijayanagar, Chamarajpet, Jayanagar, Koramangala, R T Nagar and Jayamahal have been washed away.

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board’s over-flowing manholes only worsened citizens’ woes.


The weather is likely to change as the week progresses and Bangalore City is not likely to receive rains associated with thunderstorm in the coming days, according to Met Department officials.

The rains that lashed the City during the past two days were due to a cyclonic circulation. Besides, moist atmospheric conditions only added to the ferocity of the rains, Met Department Director A L Koppar said. The City received 30.1 mm rainfall and the airport 17.7 mm rainfall till 8:30 am on Monday.


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