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Rain: BMP yet to learn its lessons

Afshan Yasmeen

Some citizens are worried about the prospect of rain-induced floods in the city



FLUSHED OUT BY FLOODS: This is a regular scene at Ejipura whenever there is heavy rain. — Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

BANGALORE: Is Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) not equipped to tackle the situation after heavy rains lash the city?

The rains in the end of May did not spare even posh areas. While residents complained that parts of Jayanagar went without power for three days because the junction boxes were damaged, Church Street, Shanthinagar, Rest House Road and even the Mahatma Gandhi Road and Vidhana Veedhi were inundated with knee-deep water.

Low-lying areas such as Ejipura, Jogupalya, Jeevanbhimanagar, Murgeshpalya, and parts of Sampangiramnagar were the worst hit. This has become an annual phenomenon and BMP keeps saying there are "crisis management and flood damage control" squads. But the question is why do the roads get flooded every time it rains and is the BMP unable to tackle the situation arising out of heavy rain?

Residents, especially after heavy rains caused havoc in Mumbai, are worried about the city's fate if there is a downpour here. Although BMP officials say there will be a problem only if the rainfall is above 2 inches, residents of low-lying areas are worried.

BMP Technical Advisor R. Jaiprasad told The Hindu on Wednesday that Bangaloreans have no reason to worry.

The water logging is because of "intensity of the rain and whenever the inflow of water into the drains is more than the discharge capacity." "If the rain is spread over a whole day, we have no problem. But if it rains for one hour at a stretch, the "run-off" is heavy and the drains will take some time to discharge the extra water," he said.

Remodelling of drains

Although the BMP has a long-term solution in remodelling the four major valleys and primary and secondary drains along these valleys, an immediate solution will be to increase the inlets into the drains, he said.

"But we are sure at no point of time Bangalore can get 40 inches of rain in a day. Because the amount of rainfall received in a whole year is less than 90 cm., which Mumbai had in a day," he said.

"Topography-wise, Bangalore has a hilly terrain unlike Mumbai, which is at sea level. We have four natural valleys, which have been cleaned.

"The capacity of drains has been increased considerably and work on remodelling the valleys has started," he said.

The civic body's rain-relief squads have been strengthened. BMP Commissioner K. Jothiramalingam recently directed all the zonal Deputy Commissioners to hire private gangmen and buy equipment to tackle the rain damage in their jurisdiction.

The officials have been authorised to buy pumping motors, telescopic pruners and mechanised saws.

BMP will take the help of Fire Services Department to remove age-old huge trees that fall during rain.

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