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Residents of flooded layouts block road during Dharam Singh's visit

Staff Reporter



AN EXPRESSION OF ANGER: Police trying to clear residents of J.P. Nagar Sixth Phase in Bangalore who staged a protest during Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh's visit to the area on Monday. — Photo: K. Murali Kumar

BANGALORE: Residents of layouts around Puttenahalli Lake to the south of Bangalore expressed their ire when Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh visited the area on Monday. The residents of J.P. Nagar Sixth Phase blocked the road but the Chief Minister's party avoided the stretch.

Mr. Dharam Singh's visit covered the areas worst affected by heavy rainfall since Saturday night.

The VIP convoy halted at some distance away from the lake bund where the residents had gathered. They were waiting to meet him and tell him about their grievances, especially about the flooding of roads and compounds.

Seeing Mr. Dharam Singh speaking to some officials, including the Commissioner of the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike K. Jothiramalingam, and preparing to leave, the crowd rushed towards the official cars but were stopped by the police. They started shouting slogans against the administration and demanded that the Chief Minister walk down the streets and see the conditions for himself.

Kamalamma, a resident, complained: "Water has entered my house and our household utensils are floating. We have no dry place to sit, sleep or cook our food. As for clean drinking water, the less said the better.''

Another resident said: "Water from the overflowing lake was entering our locality from Friday. It has stopped only now. Water has stagnated in the layout. Rainwater and water from the lake have mixed with sewage.''

Most residents depend on borewells and their drinking water is contaminated. Those who can afford are buying bottled water and others are bringing pots and drums of water from elsewhere.

The residents who come under Bommanahalli City Municipal Council (CMC) were indignant that their elected representatives were yet to visit them. They are also angry at the officials for their indifference. "The CMC is passing the buck to the Lake Development Authority (LDA), and the LDA is blaming the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board. Nobody wants to take responsibility,'' they complained. "Drainage should be a priority for the CMC.'' they said.

Wg. Cdr. (retd.) K.V.Venkatesh, who lives in Rajalakshmi Apartments in J.P. Nagar Sixth Phase, said: "Our basement is filled with rainwater and sewage. As no more water has come in today, we are trying to pump out the water in the basement. Most flats are now empty — 26 families have moved out to other areas.''

In many places, residents were seen using pumps to remove water from their premises. This flooded the streets. Two schools in this area remained closed on Monday.

On Monday, many parts of Sarakki Lake Layout were under almost three feet of water which had overflowed from the lake. There were no conduits for the water to flow.

The CMC has only been able to remove slabs covering roadside drains to ease the flow of water. At several places, manholes are open, posing a danger to pedestrians.

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