Wednesday, May 31, 2006

No monsoon lessons learnt for B'lore

No monsoon lessons learnt for B'lore
Deepa Balakrishnan

Bangalore : November 2005, Bangalore was under water. Puttenahalli, near upmarket JP Nagar, was submerged for nearly ten days.

It's now May 2006 and Puttenhalli has the same broken drains, deep craters, and low retaining walls.

Seems like Bangalore hasn't learnt its lessons from the previous monsoons.

With just days, perhaps hours, to go before the monsoons hit the IT city, CNN-IBN finds out if the damage control measures are in place.

For L N Bhaskara Rao, a pensioner who lives in Puttenhali, it's a nightmare relived. Monsoons to him mean being stuck at home for days.

He can't forget how he climbed over the barricade with his wife to go over to his neighbour's house for safety.

This year, he's not taking any chance and without waiting for the authorities to do anything, he is taking preventive measures himself.

"They are not doing anything so we have to spend on all preventive measures ourselves. I spent thousands of rupees on the same thing last uear too. I have broken the pillars in my house, raised the gate and filled up the area with soil," says Rao.

Rao has every reason to worry for there are half-constructed drains and pipes lying all over Puttenhali.

Commissioner, Bangalroe City Corporation, K Jairaj says, "The advancement of monsoon this year is worrying. We are hoping the monsoons will hit Bangalore June-end, but we are better prepared this year as compared to the previous years."

However, one look at the Koramangala Valley, where remodeling work is on and one knows that Bangalore has a long way to go before the city is monsoon-safe.

A retaining wall fell during the last year's monsoons, but rebuilding work has just begun and is all set to stop at the end of this week, when the monsoons hit the city.

Remodelling work on three major storm water drains began last April but there has been little progress.

"Overall, progress in the past year has been about 20 per cent and that's not very good we know. But there are a variety of reasons like encroachments alongside and we are trying to speed things up. If things are not completed on time then we will have to take drastic steps," says K Jairaj.

Monsoon rains will hit the city before the end of this week. Every monsoon over the last five years have seen at least five deaths and great loss to property.

Though three governments have changed, there's little work to ensure history doesn't repeat itself.


At Wednesday, May 31, 2006 at 8:42:00 PM GMT+5:30, Blogger Chander Dogra said...

Looks like it would need a Bombay to happen in Bangalore before the things begin to happen.


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