It’s been a longstanding joke that has now turned into a grim reality. With Bengaluru’s roads turning into rivers every time it rains, residents in upscale Koramangala 4th block have decided to invest in a deflatable rowboat.
Fed up of BBMP’s inaction and of being stranded inside their homes, residents belonging to one lane in 4th block have got a deflatable rowboat to navigate submerged roads in times of emergency.
On October 6, Facebook user Sarritaa P Ponnappa uploaded a video of residents of the area using a yellow boat. According to her, residents were carrying out rescue operations.
Koramangala 4th block yesterday good Samaritan doing rescue operations in a rubber dingy! Bring out your yachts people.shame on BBMPPosted by Sarritaa P Ponnappa on Friday, 6 October 2017
On Thursday, Bangalore Mirror reported that Shalini Modi, a resident of 5th cross, 8th A Main Road in the 4th block got a three-seater deflatable rowboat last week.
Shalini, who is a pathologist by profession, decided to get the boat after she saw how the rain was bringing their lives to a standstill. They weren't able to go out, the children were missing school and it was difficult to move out even during a medical emergency.
Residents of the area who need to go out during such situations can get the boat from Shalini, who has been a resident of the area for over two decades.
Describing her ordeal to the publication, Shalini said, "Whenever it rains, it's hell out here. But life cannot come to a standstill and we have to move on instead of waiting for the stagnated water to dry up. Recently, children who could not afford to miss exams, carried an extra set of clothes, waded through muddy waters, changed in the school and wrote their exams."
She added that they have senior citizens in the colony who need to go out and she too has a special child who has to be taken to her classes. "It is very stressful for us and we had to find a way," she added.
The boat, though bought by Shalini, is coming to the use of many other distraught residents in her lane.
Speaking to TNM, Suma Kiran, another long-time resident of the colony, said, "My child has to go to the main road to catch a bus to his college and isn't able to do so when the streets are flooded. NDRF people use the boat to rescue people all the time. So, we too have used her boat."
Koramangala 4th block is among the worst affected areas in Bengaluru during the rains, with the neighbourhood turning into a swamp. After every spell of rain, this low-lying area becomes flooded with rain plus sewage water from a nearby drain on 80 ft road.
When TNM visited this upscale locality late last month, residents spoke of the inconvenience and damages the flooding has been causing them, especially from August this year.
Repeated complaints and pleas made to the BBMP have fallen on deaf years and the situation remains the same after every shower.
Bengaluru has received bountiful rains this year. Ironically, this is reportedly also one of the worst years that the city has had to face due to flooding, waterlogging and other problems caused due to rains.
Dr Srinivasa Reddy of Karnataka State Disaster Monitoring Centre told Bangalore Mirror that the city has received an entire year's rain in only four months.
"The capital city has recorded half of the total rainfall in the month of September itself, he said. The city's normal rainfall for a year is 980 mm but it has received 950 mm rainfall from June 1 to September 30. A total of 513.8mm rainfall has been recorded in the month of September alone. During the previous corresponding period, the city had received 707.7 mm rainfall and about 32 mm rainfall was recorded from September 1 to 30," the report states.