A collapsed slum in Vannarpet
A collapsed slum in Vannarpet

Bengaluru rains render several domestic workers homeless

In Bendapalaya, when it rains heavily the garbage from landfill enters the drains, clogging them resulting in flooding.

Nothing reveals the sorry state of Bengaluru’s infrastructure the way rains do. A week of continuous downpour in Bengaluru has wreaked havoc on many of its underprivileged residents. Homes of hundreds of domestic and construction workers, daily wage earners and slum dwellers residing in areas such as Bandepalya, Nanjappa Garden, Vannarpet and Kadarenahalli, are flooded and a few slum dwellings have completely collapsed rendering them homeless. 

Shobha is a domestic worker who lives in Vannarpet area and a sole earner in a family of four. “The rain has flooded our house and we’re forced to live in lodges despite having less income. The houses of our neighbours have collapsed and ours may collapse if it continues to rain. We have informed the authorities, they clicked pictures of our homes but we haven't heard anything more from them,” she said.

Bandepalya also houses a huge landfill. When it rains, the garbage from this landfill enters into drains and sewage pipes which clog them. Clogged drains and sewage pipes along with reduced stormwater drain capacity due to rapid urbanisation are some of the major reasons behind waterlogging in Bengaluru.

Radha is a domestic worker living in Bandepalya. She, like Shobha, is also the sole breadwinner as her husband is physically disabled. “It’s a week since my house was flooded but we haven't got any relief from the government yet. We faced a similar flood two months ago. It floods everytime there is heavy rain,” said Radha.

A flooded house in Vannarpet

“Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has a facility where people whose houses have flooded in rains can claim financial assistance after sending them geo-tagged pictures of their homes. We have sent them pictures and asked local corporators for help but there has been no response yet. Satish Reddy, the corporator of Bommanahalli even asked why these people are living on public land and that they should live somewhere else,” said Geeta Menon, Joint Secretary, Domestic Workers Union.

Yashoda P, a field activist who works for the welfare of domestic workers confirmed that revenue officials from BBMP reached out to Bandepalya residents. They have taken details of their documents but it is not yet known when the compensation will reach them and whether it will reach them at all. However, there has not been any such developments in other areas.

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