Monday, May 29, 2006

BMP restoring water channel to prevent flooding on Mysore Road

BMP restoring water channel to prevent flooding on Mysore Road

The Hindu

The utility agencies will be better prepared this year against rain-related problems

Bangalore: Chances are we may have heavy rainfall again. But the civic administration and the utility agencies will be better prepared this year with the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) approaching the Karnataka High Court to clear unauthorised structures built in the Nayandanahalli Valley. These structures block the free flow of excess rainwater and result in flooding along Mysore Road after every heavy downpour.

When he recently visited flood-hit areas on Mysore Road, BMP Commissioner K. Jairaj said the obstruction to flow of water from Nayanadanahalli Tank along natural valleys was the main reason for Mysore Road and the areas around it getting flooded. The illegal structures had existed in the valley for years together and litigation to clear them, in public interest, was the only way out, he had remarked.

Short-term plan

While clearing the encroachments through litigation may take a long time, the BMP has also a short-term action plan for flood prevention. An 800-metre long storm water channel from Best Club till Bangalore University campus is being restored and the work estimated at Rs. 16 lakh is nearing completion, though it was held up for some days due to rain.

The other works BMP has taken up include removal of silt and restoration of the natural rain run-off along Vrishabhavathi Valley, especially around the Ring Road and Mysore Road Junction. Here too several unauthorised structures have been identified to be demolished. Another plan is to provide a link between Nayandanahalli Tank and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) water treatment plant on Mysore Road. All these are expected to prevent flooding on Mysore Road. Meanwhile, the BWSSB too has been active with flood control measures. Its work has involved clearing in phases the one lakh manholes in the city and the 4,000-km long storm water drains. Besides manual removal of silt and debris, "jetting machines" are being used with water sprayed under high pressure to bring out the silt which is then removed, loaded onto lorries and taken to designated places far away. According to BWSSB Chairman N.C. Muniyappa, overflowing water from tanks and lakes is also a cause for flooding. The excess water in some of the more flood-prone tanks is being pumped out for irrigating parks and other purposes. This effectively reduces the water level in the tanks by up to three feet and they can store more rainwater without overflowing. The BWSSB also wants a joint coordination committee with the 12 executive engineers of the BMP and six from the water utility to look after all flood control work without duplication of efforts and with better efficiency.


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