Friday, September 21, 2007

Choked drains, slush make it a hell

Choked drains, slush make it a hell

Afshan Yasmeen

Annaiah Reddy Layout residents struggle against water shortage, clogged drains

— Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

A NIGHTMARE: A temporary drain made for the overflowing water from Saraki Lake at Puttenahalli in Bangalore on Thursday.

BANGALORE: Eleven-year-old Mageshwari, a seventh standard student of a private school in Annaiah Reddy Layout of Puttenahalli, has not been able to wear her uniform for the last three days. You ask her and she innocently says that there is no water in her house to wash the uniform.

Similar is the case with other students. But thankfully their school principal has not objected because he too has the same problem.

“I cannot be strict now. When there is no water to drink, where will they have water to wash,” P.V. Ravindranath, Principal of Image English School, said.

The deluge clogged sanitary drains and damaged the borewell water pipelines in the area. Since the rains, residents are left without any water.

“The water supply (which was already irregular in the past) has stopped since Sunday. We are either buying tanker water from other areas or using the smelly contaminated water from the private borewells in the neighbourhood. We are forced to drink this water,” said Nagaratna S., a resident.

“Our toilets are blocked. The stench is unbearable. There is slush all around us. We cannot afford to buy packaged drinking water cans and are forced to manage with whatever we get,” said P. Amaiahyamma, a resident.

Although the authorities sent a water tanker to the area on Tuesday, it was enough to meet the needs of only a handful of residents. Electricity supply to the area has been cut off.

The residents are incensed over the fact that neither politicians nor civic officials visited them even once to check on their plight.

“We are not objecting to the demolitions. Basic amenities are all that we ask for. Why should we vote for them?” said S. Tipparaju.

The BBMP is demolishing buildings constructed on the storm water drains on the grounds that the flooding is because of this.
Threat of epidemic

S.A. Shankar Reddy, who is part of the family that originally owned the entire land where Annaiah Reddy Layout has been formed, said he was afraid that the open drains (dug by the BBMP to flush out excess water from the overflowing Sarakki lake) and the stagnant sewage water in the lateral drains might result in outbreak of diseases in the area.

“The stench and resultant mosquito menace is unbearable. It looks as though we are living in a remote village. Life is surely going to be miserable for us till the BBMP completes construction of the drain,” he said.

BBMP Joint Commissioner (Bommanahalli) Venkataramana Nayak denied that the residents were deprived of water supply. “Tankers are being sent to the area and I have authorised the officials to arrange for more if required. If the tankers have reached some lanes, we can organise for those residents too,” he added.


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