Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rain brings Bengaluru to a halt

Rain brings Bengaluru to a halt

Article Rank

When it rains, Bengaluru, the city of the future, plunges into the Dark Ages, with everything going wrong — from power supply to the traffic on the roads. A DC reality check

Work on Koramangala,Vrishabhavathi, Hebbal andChallaghatta storm water drains has been left incomplete leading to flooding in several areas during the monsoons. Overflowing drains flood low-lying areas, disrupting normal life.
Encroachment of drains, and failure to clear them of the silt and debris dumped into them blocks their network, resulting in flooding.

In some areas, drainage flows into houses every time it rains, sparking outrage from citizens but little action from officials. Some localities either lack secondary and tertiary drains or are not linked at all to the storm water drains.

If the people thought they could turnto the law to address their plight,they would be disappointed. The traffic police on the whole seems indifferent to the problems of commuters despite the traffic jams and chaos on the roads caused by cars and buses which seem to have a mind of their own and a disdain for the rules.

As the traffic signals shut down in downpours, the police too at times disappear, leaving it to the commuters to battle it out in the rain the best they can, which they do with much honking and heartburn. Perhaps the police needs a bigger supply of rain coats to motive its personnel to remain on the roads when it gets too wet for comfort.

Trees are uprooted even duringpre-monsoon showers as manyare dead and old are left unattended by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP), which neither bothers to remove nor prune them when necessary to avoid falling of branches.

BBMP tree officers need to ensure that trees are pruned before March when the city gets windy.

Scientific pruning of trees and removing of old trees could go a long way in helping to reduce damage to public and private property and preventing traffic congestion on the roads caused by uprooted trees. Often trees are unbalanced after being pruned only on one side.

Transformers that have lost theirprotective covers are vulnerableto the weather and often get fused in the rain, plunging homes and offices into darkness during the monsoon.

Scores of such transformers installed on footpaths, not only come in the way of pedestrians but are also a hazard.

But Bescom seems indifferent to the need to cover the transformers and keep the city both safe and well lit, whatever the weather. Naked transformers are a common sight in Commercial Street, Shivajinagar, Indiranagar, Marathalli, and Basvangudi among other areas. Bescom officials are aware of the problem but have done nothing about it.

Although Bengaluru claims tohave some of the best buses,including the Volvo fleet, serving the city, people are often seen stranded in bus stops for hours together waiting for their bus to come along.

The wait gets tiresome as people get wet in the rain with buses doing the disappearing act during the monsoon for one reason or the other.

With bus shelters in poor condition or simply not available in some areas, people have no hope of shelter from the rain either, a problem that Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation doesn’t seem to be doing much about.


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