The plan includes flood damage correction works, procurement of robotic excavators for cleaning up the drains and flood rescue operations.

BBMP pitched Rs 300-crore-plan to stall waterlogging activists call it an eyewash
news Civic Issues Monday, September 04, 2017 - 08:30

Flooding and waterlogging is not a new sight in Bengaluru, the BBMP has now however come up with a Rs 300 crore project for a short-term plan to prevent flooding in Bengaluru, Times of India reported.

The plan includes flood damage correction works, procurement of robotic excavators for cleaning up the drains and flood rescue operations. 

The Palike is also planning to prioritise emergency works to avoid flooding at areas prone to waterlogging.

Speaking to the media on Sunday about the government’s measures to avert floods, Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George said, “People in Bengaluru have assumed that we have completed the remodelling works of 842 km stretch of storm water drains. The works have cost us Rs 800 crore and is still going on. We have completed only half of the project and will finish the rest soon. Apart from this long term measure, we have prepared an action plan at a cost of Rs 300 crore which will be placed for cabinet approval and taken up immediately.”

KJ George also blamed the unexpected and heavy rainfall for the mess.

“Normally, in August Bengaluru receives 126 mm rainfall. But this year it received 249 mm. In just two days in the month of September, 86 mm rainfall was recorded. Heavy rains have flooded low-lying areas as there is no proper connectivity between primary drains and the storm water drains,” he said.

He said that compared to Mumbai or Pune, Bengaluru was way better in terms of flood management.

“Even New York gets flooded during the rain,” he added. 

George also dismissed charges that the Palike, which had to take up desilting works in the summer months, had nt done its job efficiently.

“We are not sitting quiet. We are doing everything that is required and following all the procedures. To execute any work, a detailed project report (DPR) has to be prepared, following which quotations and tenders will follow. If the tender does not match the 'Standard Rates', we have to go for re-tendering.”

“Then the project has to pass through a committee and get the cabinet nod. If we miss any of these steps, we are blamed that we have a vested interest and have taken kickbacks,” George added.

However, environmentalists call the short term plan an eye wash.

"The first step to stop water logging is to divert the city's entire sewage system away from the storm water drains. The storm water drains must then be connected to the lakes and rivers. Silt filters must be set up in the inlet weirs to the lake. Then the lake must be fenced, STPs set up and there a long list of things to e done. For an entire city, Rs 300 crore is not enough for restoration of lakes and diversion of sewage. It is an eyewash," said Naresh Narasimhan, member of Citizens for Bengaluru.


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