Wednesday, July 23, 2008


A downpour on Sunday night and the city turned into a river. Bangaloreans also had to contend with drain water entering their houses. Those who ventured out had to brave waterlogged roads and endless traffic jams

Bangalore: P R Srinivasan (78), a resident of Jeevanahalli, KR Garden, was rather busy on Monday morning. Not with routine chores: he was drying important documents that he had preserved throughout his life, that got soaked in Sunday night’s rain fury. These, along with furniture and other household articles, were soaking wet, thanks to 3-ft water in his house.
About 50 families living in KR Garden II Stage applied for leave on Monday — working professionals did so to clean up the mess that was a result of sullage water from the nearby drain flooding their homes.
These are just two cases among many. The heavy downpour on Sunday night — 79.66 mm — which left Bangalore in a pool of water, claimed two lives. Barkat (35), a painter from Murphy Town who was strolling with his friends near Munivenkatappa Garden, drowned in Ulsoor Lake, and Kanthiraj (26), a resident of CPWD quarters, drowned in Madiwala Lake on Sunday night. Their bodies haven’t been traced yet.
Flooded homes, knee-deep water on several roads, pile-up of traffic were the order of the day. Residents narrate with horror the rain havoc. Srinivasan and his wife explain that as it rained intensely for several hours, excess water from a nearby drain entered their house, situated on the ground floor. Within no time, the house was turned into a slushpool with murky water entering from all directions. Srinivasan says although he called the BBMP and police, none helped.
“Even the police who arrived in the morning said I am better off than people living in slums. I am a taxpayer and have every right to ask for help.’’ They even experienced electric shocks at some points as the water was knee-deep. But for Srinivasan, the biggest loss was the soaking of all his documents — from his house title, BBMP khata, to receipts.
S Prema, who was seen cleaning the house, said here too water entered from all sides. Being a house built on a corner site, it was the worst affected and she had to keep every article on higher surfaces to avoid getting them wet.
T S Gangadhar, a radar engineer whose house is in a dilapidated condition, says although he had complained earlier about the narrow drain, BBMP had done nothing. The drain, which carries sewage from Sevanagar, Jeevanahalli and JB Nagar, is blocked at the MEG campus entrance in Jeevanahalli, and whenever there is excess water, it enters nearby houses.
The scene was the same in Cox Town where several houses were waterlogged. Residents of Green Meadows Apartment on Ramakrishnaiah Road even deployed diesel pumpsets to remove excess water, which inundated the basement. One of the residents, Govindarajan, COO of a software company, says there was absolutely no help from BBMP. They were forced to spend around Rs 10,000 on two diesel pumpsets to pump out water.
The rain wreaked severe damage in other parts of the city too. Several arterial roads, including Vittal Mallya Road, Mehkri Circle, Bannerghatta Road and Hosur Road, witnessed slowmoving traffic in the morning due to waterlogging. On Sunday night too several roads were completely waterlogged and the citizens had to struggle to reach home. People waded through the UB City junction as Vittal Mallya Road was completely submerged in water. The stretch, one of the areas commanding the highest market value with property rates zooming beyond Rs 15,000/sqft, was in a pitiable condition. The area is like a saucer and when it rains, water from nearby Lavelle Road and Airlines Road gushes into the area.
There was a huge traffic jam in front of KH Double Road bus stand as one of the roads had been blocked for repair and the other, leading to Lalbagh circle, was completely under water due to the clogging of drains. It was barricaded by the traffic police.
Though there were some problems on Sunday in several low-lying areas, we were prepared to face any situation. Today, we had a meeting and commissioner has instructed everyone to be on alert. All eight zones have a minimum of three pumps at their disposal and we are even getting a JCB in case we need to dig a trench. There will be a separate squad consisting of 10 persons dedicated to attend rain-related grievances. We even have a list of telephone numbers of residents in low-lying areas and in case of rain, we enquire and do the needful.
Flooded Areas
Devarajeevanahalli, Austin Town, Indiranagar, KR Garden, Hattipura, Kammanahalli, Byappanahalli
Ulsoor, Mysore Road, Vrishabhavathi Valley and Puttenahalli
Basaveshwaranagar, Kirloskar Colony, Navrang, Manjunathnagar, Pushpanjalinagar and Gruhalakshmi Layout
Deepanjali Nagar Evacuation warning
Water in the Vrishabhavathi valley has swollen due to Sunday’s downpour. Residents of Kurubarahalli, Vrishabhavathi Nagara, Kamalanagara and Kamakshipalya have been asked to evacuate immediately. The BBMP executive engineer (West) also asked those staying in low-lying areas like Mariyappanapalya, Srirampura and Nagappa Block to move to safer areas, in view of heavy rain expected over the next few days. Helplines
BBMP control rooms
Central: 22221188/22975595 East: 22975803 West: 23561692 South: 26566362 Byatarayanapura: 23636677 Mahadevapura: 28512301 Dasarahalli: 28304909 Bommanahalli: 25735642 KR Puram: 64567614
Bescom control room
22287118/22287119/ 22356627
Fire: 101 Police: 100 Ambulance: 102
BWSSB control rooms
South: 22945151 West: 22945168 East: 22945164 North: 22944129 Tree falls RV College, SR Nagar, KG Road, Palace Grounds, Koramangala, Cantonment station, Basaveshwaranagar, Seshadripuram, Gandhinagar, Goraguntepalya, Malleswaram, Rajajinagar, RT Nagar telephone exchange, Bescom office, JP NAgar, Tilaknagar and near Sagar Hospital, Jayanagar Traffic diversion near Mehkri Circle The road leading to Hebbal flyover was in a mess, with waterlogging at CBI junction. On Monday morning, vehicles stuck at Mehkri Circle for over one-and-a-half hours were diverted. This also delayed vehicles travelling to BIA.
The rain badly damaged the road, which was ridden with huge, water-filled pits. It took officials over 90 minutes to pump out the water.
Vehicles heading for BIA were diverted near Mehkri Circle to CV Raman Road. They turned right near Sadashivanagar police station, moved towards BEL junction, then hit Ring Road to reach Hebbal flyover and proceeded towards BIA. This caused a huge pile-up, with vehicles crawling to reach Ring Road.
BBMP chief engineer Krishna Reddy said the hold-up at CBI junction was due to drainage spillover. A stone placed near the outlet of a drain in Ganganagar had blocked the flow of sewage. This choked the drain and resulted in sewage spilling on to the road.







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