Heavy rains in Bengaluru overnight and till the wee hours of Monday meant that the usually bad traffic in the city got much worse. While for many, the suffering was limited to long hours in the traffic, some residents of MLA Layout off Bannerghatta Road in South Bengaluru woke up to find their homes flooded and cars damaged. The Karnataka State Disaster Monitoring Centre’s Gottigere weather station, nearest to the locality, recorded rainfall of 182.55mm.
At midday on Monday, the car park which is at the same level as the road was still inundated. Most of the cars had water up till the seats suggesting that water could have entered the fuel filter and engine as well.
Venkatesh, an HR professional and resident of Samruddhi Royal Apartment with 48 units on Himagiri Main Road, had woken up at around 5:30am after the security guard alerted everyone about the rains. It is not the first time that water has accumulated in the area. But to his shock, the heavy rain and resulting water flow had brought the back wall of his house crashing down into several blocks of bricks. Moreover, the back gate which was kept locked had come unstuck and got swept away in the gushing waters.
“My SUV had water till the seats. Luckily, it did not enter the engine. The water had also entered the (electrical) meter box. We had to shut off the power. Now that water has entered into the sump, we have to clean before using the water,” he said. Some two-wheelers could also be seen toppled over. With cars being completely flooded, the owners had to send them for repairs.
A plush complex Himagiri Meadows, with more than 350 individual villas down the same road, also painted a sorry picture even after rain had stopped nearly five hours ago.The inundation has meant that there won’t be any water supply for the entire complex for at least a day. Huge amounts of silt and dirt have accumulated in the sump meant for drinking water
While this reporter is at the spot, a group of kids on their cycles point to a huge mound of mud, as another car gets towed away for repairs.
According to the residents, the water level was as high as two and a half feet when it was at its peak. Five hours later, one could see cars being towed away, and some trying desperately to figure out the damage to their vehicles.
Aditya, a student in one of the villas, said, “At around 3am in the morning, my grandmother woke up and noticed that water was entering the house and then she alerted everybody. Later at around 6am, the water was gushing inside our complex like a river stream.”
Ritu, a homemaker, complained, “Water is still at the second step of our staircase. We got to know at around 4:30am that the water is coming inside our house. But by the time we could do anything, the water level was over a feet high, inside the house. Everything that was lying on the floor got submerged. Our sofa was broken from the bottom. All the things inside the almirah and the drawers got wet till that level. We are still cleaning the house.”
What caused the flooding?
Vijayprabhu Damodran, president of the Residents’ Association, said, “This is the second time we are seeing flooding inside our premises on this scale. Earlier, water would come inside if it rained heavily but nothing of this sort.”
“With the start of the Metro construction, they have diverted rainwater flows from all the three directions to our side and that is why we are getting flooded with heavy rains,” he claimed.
At around 12pm, by the time the water had receded on the Himagiri Main Road, an altercation had broken out. Some residents of the two apartments (Samruddhi and Himagiri) in the area were involved in a verbal spat with a group of residents of Kristal Beryl apartment. The accusation against Kristal Beryl is that an exit ramp was blocking a storm water drain which is causing excess water to get diverted onto the road and nearby apartments. However, residents of Kristal Beryl apartment claim that the building has been constructed as per the sanctioned plan.
Meanwhile, the local corporator and BBMP officials on the ground concurred with this, but claimed that it can be officially established only after a survey.