BBMP officials said they had lifted truckloads of plastic from the storm water drain at Koramangala.

Two Bengaluru malls issued notices by BBMP for dumping their waste into drainsImage for representation; By Lamiot, via Wikimedia Commons
news Civic issues Friday, August 18, 2017 - 13:41

Heavy rains over the last few days have resulted in waterlogging in several areas in Bengaluru with residents limping back to recovery.

While there are multiple reasons for the deluge -- and both citizens and civic authorities are at fault -- one of them is the clogging of storm water drains which prevents the water from flowing through them.

Now, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has issued notices to two malls near Sony junction in Koramangala for indiscriminately dumping waste into the drains and clogging them, Deccan Chronicle reported.

BBMP officials also said that they had lifted truckloads of plastic from the storm water drain at Koramangala.

N Manjunath Prasad, BBMP Commissioner, told the paper, "I have inspected the area and the residents have said that the malls dump their waste into the drain."

Earlier in June, Bengaluru Mayor G Padmavati had said that the civic authority had identified 200 flood-prone areas in the city. The civic authority said that it planned to place sandbags along the storm water drains to prevent flooding.

However, according to experts, this method was unlikely to work because the drains are clogged.

Ramprasad, an environmental activist with the citizens’ group Friends of Lakes, told TNM, "The problem is that these storm water drains are clogged with garbage and sewage throughout the year. When there are heavy rains, there is no space for rainwater to flow through them and results in waterlogging. BBMP has said that it is in the process of removing encroachments on rajakaluves (storm water drains) but that’s just a lie."

Another senior BBMP official told TNM that most of the tributaries of rivers in Bengaluru have been converted to storm water drains. And these in turn have been turned into sewage channels and garbage dumps.

Last year, a storm water drain burst open near RR Nagar pushing drainage onto the road and halting traffic.

BBMP engineers, who took nearly two days to clear the drain, found among other things, fridge doors, mattresses, pillows and PWC pipes inside the drain, The Hindu reported.

While the BBMP keeps spending money to clean and desilt the storm water drains, as the report points out, this may not be of much help unless garbage is stopped from being dumped into them in the first place.

"Garbage trucks are always lined up next to storm water drains and it is no surprise that so much garbage finds its way into the drain. The garbage then floats into the lakes, polluting them," Kavita Reddy of the Agara Lake Protection and Management Committee told the publication. 

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