Thursday, September 24, 2009

Friday's downpour gave nightmares to residents

Friday's downpour gave nightmares to residents

Rain water entered their posh homes in low-lying sixth block of Koramangala area

They want the BBMP to rebuild and clean up the
drains to prevent floods during next monsoon

N. Huidina. Bangalore

Ground floor residents of the sixth block in Koramangala stayed indoors in panic as the rain water reached the foot of their staircase. The front gates were almost submerged and the road in front looked like a pond with waste from the open drains floating on water.
The nightmares brought by Friday's downpour were a replay of troubles that visit residents of this low-lying area every monsoon.
"We could not sleep that night as rain water entered our rooms carrying the polythene covers that we had kept in the gap under the door to block it. We were really scared as the water level rose to two feet," said PS Ganapathy, one of the residents, as he showed the muddy marks left behind by the flood on the walls.
"The ground floors of ten apartments were under 'drain water'. It was a health risk to touch or inhale that stinking water. But we had to do it to clean up the floor," CN Gopal, another resident, said.
"We made many complaints to the civic officials and also to the local MLA Ramalinga Reddy. But there was no positive response from them," said HR Narasimha Murthy, former secretary of Koramangala Residents' Welfare Association.
He has lost hopes and is raising the floor height by one foot to prevent rain water from seeping in.
Residents allege that instead of finding a permanent solution to waterlogging during monsoon, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is telling the affected residents to shift to another place.
"We are ready to leave if the BBMP gives us a better place to live in. But that is not the right solution. They should try to clean up the drains and renovate it in such a way that water flows from here easily into the main channel when it rains," said Ganapathy.
"If we park our vehicles in a safe lane during floods, residents of that area object to it. But we need a place to park and this situation leads to quarrels," he said.
Anne Gowda, assistant executive engineer of the BBMP in charge of the area, said he had received several complaints from residents.
"We are planning various ways to permanently solve their problems. Steps will be taken in a week to regularly maintain the storm water drains. The drains in this block are clogged and sudden rains bring the area under water," he said.


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