After Bengaluru gets inundated, CM repeats stormwater drains will be revamped

The Chief Minister announced that Rs 25,000 aid will be given to those whose houses were flooded during the heavy rains in Bengaluru.
Basavaraj Bommai
Basavaraj Bommai
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Bengaluru saw heavy rains on the night of Tuesday, May 17, which led to severe flooding in many areas of the city, as well as fallen trees which led to traffic snarls. As the city is set to witness more rains over the coming days, residents have questioned the government’s plans to improve drainage infrastructure to prevent inconvenience and losses due to flooding in the future.

Speaking to reporters in Rajarajeshwari Nagar on Wednesday, May 18, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that works to improve Bengaluru’s ‘rajakaluves’ or stormwater drains are still incomplete. “Since there was a high volume of rainfall, they overflowed. Plus works on rajakaluves are pending. We have released Rs 1600 crore for the same and the work has begun this year. It is a bottleneck. There are about 20 such bottlenecks in RR Nagar and for this, we have instructed that the work begin,” he said.

The Chief Minister also said that the government is working on improving secondary and tertiary drainage systems. “In low-lying areas, it floods every time it rains. The secondary and tertiary drainage systems in these areas also need to be improved, which the government has ordered. BBMP is in charge of the ward-level works, but the main kaluves fall under government jurisdiction, for which we have sanctioned funds,” the Chief Minister said. 

He further added that a major reason for homes and streets getting flooded during rains, is that the rajakaluves are encroached upon, which affects their capacity. CM Bommai explained, “When there is more than 90 mm rain, houses in low-lying areas get flooded. Plus rajakaluves get encroached, houses get built near it. We have begun fixing 400 km out of 800 km of the network, efforts are on to work on the rest. We will complete the work by this year. Until this happens, flooding will continue around rajakaluves. In the coming days, bottlenecks in low-lying areas will be fixed. We don’t want the whole city to suffer because of a few houses built on the encroached land.”

The Chief Minister also announced Rs 25,000 relief to be provided to those whose houses got flooded during Tuesday’s rains.

Many were not happy with the Chief Minister Bommai’s remarks about the rains, as the problem of flooding has persisted for years despite large amounts of funds being allocated for the same.

TNM had earlier reported on how Bengaluru’s infrastructure is crumbling due to the absence of elected corporators. In a three-part series, we looked at how the strength of ward committees has eroded in the absence of corporators, the legal obstacles that have to be overcome for conducting the elections and the political machinations underway to maintain the status quo.

Read TNM’s three-part series here: 

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