Sunday, August 31, 2008

BBMP gets busy, takes stock of the situation

BBMP gets busy, takes stock of the situation

Bangalore: On Saturday, BBMP commissioner S Subramanya visited Mariyannapalya in Dasarahalli. This low-lying area with a narrow stormwater drain has been severely affected due to the recent rain. According to officials, the area is inundated by water overflowing from Jakkarayana, Racchenahalli, Agrahara and Betadahallasuru tanks.
The commissioner promised that the stormwater drains’ capacity will be increased and in case of heavy rainfall, emergency measures will be initiated. “At Munivenkatappa Garden near Ulsoor, 57 families had homes built on the stormwater drain. They have been shifted to Lingarajpuram Housing Board Colony,’’ said S Puttaswamy, additional commissioner, BBMP East division. Sriram Reddy, additional commissioner, BBMP West division, said except for a few trees crashing, there is not much rain-related damage in the area.
K R Ramakrishna, additional commissioner of BBMP South division, said locations that usually have rain-related problems — like Shammana Garden — are better placed this year. “In Venkataswamy Garden at JJR Nagar, around 15 houses are partially damaged and water entered 13 houses in JJR nagar itself. About 27 houses in Govindarajnagar and 100-odd houses in ward 32 have been affected. Some of these areas have been affected due to old stormwater drains,’’ Ramakrishna said.
Maintenance work to be outsourced
Urban development minister S Suresh Kumar has issued directions to BBMP officials to outsource maintenance work on flyovers, subways and grade separators, lay a dedicated line to drain out clogged water, and create a separate cell to monitor distress calls.
Speaking to STOI, Kumar said BBMP does not have adequate maintenance staff. In light of the recent complaints of water-logging at grade separators, flyovers and subways, it has been decided to outsource maintenance work, he said.
“The BBMP control room can handle distress calls only when the rainfall is 50 mm or less. In case of 80-100 mm rainfall, the workforce is unable to cope with the number of calls. Hence it is decided to have a separate cell to attend to calls after heavy rain,” Kumar said.
Rainfall more than expected
After heavy rain for a week, there were signs of recession with the city clocking just 0.6 mm rainfall on Friday. However, Saturday again saw an increase, recording 10.4 mm rainfall.
According to the meteorological department, heavy rain will continue till the revival of monsoon winds. “State interiors are receiving rain since monsoon winds are in the easterly direction. Because of this, the coastal parts have not received sufficient rain this week. Once the winds are revived and coastal regions start receiving rain, there could be a decrease here. Till then, the city will continue to receive these showers,’’ said department director A Muthuchami. “Surprisingly, the city has received more than double the rain expected when actually other parts of the state have received only normal rainfall,’’ he added.
Health hazards lurking
Stagnant rainwater pools continue to be the biggest concern for civic authorities during post-rain relief measures. If the water enters drinking water lines, there is a risk of epidemic outbreaks.
After the rain over the past few days, water has accumulated for days together in some areas. Fear of an outbreak of epidemics is high due to increase in the number of mosquitoes and in the backdrop of the recent cases of chikungunya and dengue in the city.
This year, the city has witnessed an outbreak gastroentrities and chikungunya every other month.
According to officials, the main concern is evacuating residents to safer places and draining out stagnant water. The BBMP has not lined up any health-oriented plans for Sai Gardens.


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