Residents say that in low-lying areas, the storm water drains are filled with sewage and flooding is a recurring problem.

Flooded house in HBR LayoutTwitter
news Civic Issues Wednesday, September 09, 2020 - 09:24

As heavy rains lashed Bengaluru on Tuesday night, several low-lying areas in the city were flooded. The rainwater, mixed with sewage, entered the homes of residents. Roads were flooded with water, submerging vehicles and residents lament that this is not the first time. The rains flooded parts of Sahakar Nagar, Horamavu and HBR Layout on Tuesday night.   

Speaking to TNM, Peter Thomas, a 61-year-old resident of HBR Layout, said that this is not the first time floods have occurred. "It happens every time there are heavy rains," he said, while adding that the primary storm water drain, located about a kilometre away from his house, is constantly filled with sewage, and that the outlet to the storm water drain has been blocked due to accumulation of silt. 

"The sewage water is stagnating there. We have been calling the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) for days on end. Last month, the BBMP people got a lorry here to make it look like they were doing something. When we asked them, they said they would come back tomorrow with an earthmover and clean it up. Nothing has happened yet," he added. 

Retired Professor Ranganath Murthy, a resident of HBR Layout, said that when heavy rains lash the area, which is low-lying, rainwater mixes with the sewage from the storm water drain and floods the streets and homes. "Our corporator Anand came early this morning and organised pumps to flush out the water from our houses. He is prompt in taking action after the floods. But, when is the BBMP going to fix the problem of the nalas (storm drains). We have been suffering for years now," he said. 

Ranganath Murthy said that when the water flooded the ground floor of his residence, the water also seeped into the sump tank. "We don't have water to drink now or bathe. The water in the sump is contaminated. Every time this happens, we have to pay thousands of rupees to get our sump tanks cleaned," he added. 

Encroached storm water drains, sewage running into primary and secondary storm water drains is not a new problem Bengaluru has been facing. In November last year, the Hulimavu Lake breach had flooded the entire area including homes and apartments. In 2017, the heavy rains that lashed the city had flooded many areas. 

The primary reason for the floods were the inadequate efforts on the part of the civic body to clean up the storm water drains. Another major problem is that the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is in charge of sewage connections. In many parts of the city, sewage pipes run into storm drains and the BWSSB too, has not made efforts to rectify the issue. With the problem glaring at residents for years on end, every time, even a moderate bout of rainfall lashes the city, the roads and homes are flooded. 

Speaking to TNM, P Anand, corporator of HBR Layout said that he has taken the residents' issues into consideration. “Currently, it is difficult to put pressure as the BBMP council's last day is September 10. After this, an administrator will oversee all works. I will appeal to the administrator once appointed," he said.    

 

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