The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre has now announced that Bengaluru will receive moderate rainfall this year, unlike 2017, when heavy rains had wreaked havoc in the city. However, the agency has identified certain areas in the city as flood-prone. BBMP officials say that they are ready to face the rain this year, and that most of the works pertaining to clearing out storm water drains have been completed. However, sources tell TNM that while BBMP has taken several measures, only a portion of the work that needs to be done has been completed.
In 2017, the city came to a standstill after several roads got flooded. Storm water drains were overflowing and 15 people lost their lives. In certain areas, even moderate rainfall had caused massive floods.
“The worst hit areas last year because of the rain were Kurubarahalli, Kumbargundi, BMTC Layout, Shantinagar, Koramangala, HSR layout, Dollars Colony, JP Nagar, Yeshwanthpur and KR Puram. Ever since the rains stopped last year, the Storm Water Drain Department has identified and fixed most of the issues,” EWD Department Engineer Bettegowda told TNM.
Bettegowda says that after the inspections, the BBMP officials realised that in most of the areas, where the flooding had occurred, the retaining walls in the storm water drains had collapsed and that in many areas, the culverts and bridges were over 50 years old and needed replacement.
“In JC Road, we have replaced the culverts. We have constructed two new 4x4 m parallel drains and replaced the culverts. The drain’s retaining walls were broken and new ones have been constructed. Similar works have been completed on drains located between Double Road and JK Pura, Anepalya near Adugodi, parts of Koramangala. The retaining wall on the primary drain from Koramangala and Bellandur has been replaced. The storm water drain connections were completely changed in HSR Layout, especially between Silk Board and Agara as they were not constructed properly. The culvert diversions were so bad that it was leading to a backwater kind of situation there,” Bettegowda added.
However, sources in the BBMP say that of the 824 km of storm water drains, only 390 km have been rectified. Since 2016, the BBMP has received Rs 1,100 crore to construct new storm water drains, rectify the existing system of drains and also carry out regular desilting works. “We have to receive the grant for phase 2 from the government in order to complete the work. Within a year, we have completed works on 390 km in phase 1,” the source in BBMP said.
“One big problem our department faces is that the garbage is being dumped in the primary drains. Every time we clean up drains, sewage and garbage is flowing into these drains. Serious action must be taken against officials in the Health and Solid Waste Management Department and BWSSB,” the official said.
Preparing for flooding?
The BBMP has also set up 72 control rooms across the city, which will cater to rain-related grievances of residents.
“We are also in the process of purchasing 16 motor pumps – two for each zone. These motors will be able to pump out 6,000 litres of water per minute. Tenders have been called for and the BBMP will procure these motors soon enough,” the source said.
List of areas prone to flooding
The list of areas prone to flooding put out by the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) include the area near the Kino Theatre underpass in Sheshadripuram, Shivanand Circle, Okalipuram underpass, Koramagala, Ejipura, Shantinagar, KSRTC Depot, Magadi Road, Vijaynagar, Bapujinagar, Gali Anjaneya Temple, Nayandahalli, Gangondanahalli, HSR Layout, Anand Rao Circle, Halasur Double Road, Kempegowda Layout, Wilson Garden, Arekere, Kurubarahalli, HRBR Layout, Nandini Layout and Laggere.
Subha Avinash, scientist at the KSNDMC said, “We have not predicted heavy rainfall but what must be noted is that Bengaluru is not prepared for anything more than moderate rainfall. Even in areas where the rainfall is light, there is flooding due to bad planning. We have issued a list of areas prone to flooding so the concerned agencies can take precautionary measures.”
In 2017, the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre had compiled a list of flood-prone areas in Bengaluru. In case you area a resident of any of these areas, you can call the BBMP control room 08022660000 to report any illegal garbage dumping or storm water drain desilting work which needs to be carried out.
Here is the list of low-lying areas identified by KSNDMC: