Nation Current Affairs 27 Nov 2019 Lake breach: Blame g ...

Lake breach: Blame game on, BS Yediyurappa orders probe

Published Nov 27, 2019, 1:50 am IST
Updated Nov 27, 2019, 1:50 am IST
Left with no clothes or food, the women are waiting to go home to assess the loss they have suffered.
With tear-filled eyes, a group of women at a relief centre said, “We are left with nothing at home. We have been sitting here for three days now. The earlier we get to leave, the better, because we have to get back to work.”
 With tear-filled eyes, a group of women at a relief centre said, “We are left with nothing at home. We have been sitting here for three days now. The earlier we get to leave, the better, because we have to get back to work.”

Two days after the Hulimavu lake breach flooded over 630 houses, families are trickling out of relief centres to begin cleaning their homes. Over 100 families remain, awaiting the BBMP's confirmation that their neighbourhoods had been fumigated. CM Yediyurappa ordered a probe and called for a comprehensive development plan to rebuild the damaged public property and supply clean drinking water.  Theories abound over why the breach happened, with a BBMP official filing an FIR against a BWSSB engineer, who was carrying out work on an STP near Hulimavu lake. Linge Gowda, who filed the FIR, said BWSSB had given in to public demands to ensure that a nearby temple wasn’t affected by their work, breaching the bund to let out excess water without the BBMP’s consent. Residents allege that a  powerful BJP leader in BBMP had tried to rush the work to put an end to the stench, resulting in  the disaster.
Vishaka V. Warrier, Chandrashekar G. and M.K. Ashoka report

A stench from rotting food and rubbish in damp streets greeted the families that returned home on Tuesday from the relief centres they had moved to on Sunday following the breaching of the Hulimavu tank, that flooded their houses and destroyed their belongings. On day 3, many families returned to start the cleaning process to rebuild their lives. But around 137 families remained in the shelters, waiting for orders to leave by the BBMP while it fumigated their streets and houses.


The relief centres will continue to provide food, medicines, and clothes to all the victims who leave them, in addition to those who remain in the shelters while  their houses get ready for occupation. The victims have pinned their hopes on the Rs. 50,000 compensation promised per family and the 15 day rations, to begin the process of rebuilding their lives.  

With tear-filled eyes, a group of women at a relief centre said, “We are left with nothing at home. We have been sitting here for three days now. The earlier we get to leave, the better, because we have to get back to work.”


Left with no clothes or food, the women are waiting  to go home to assess the loss they have suffered.  “Promises have been made. I hope it translates into reality soon. Because we are left with no other option other than to wait for help,” they added.

For those who  returned home, the experience was as traumatic as leaving it.   "My child has been vomiting continuously from the time we have come back,” said a worried woman, Gowramma, who was told  Tuesday afternoon with a few other families  to move to their homes by the authorities, who claimed that the BBMP had cleared the streets and sanitized the area. But on reaching their lane, Gowramma and the others were disturbed to see the shape their houses were in. “Who will come to our rescue? When will our lives get back to normal?” wailed a distraught Gowramma as her husband added, “All our documents, including the aadhar card, ration card, original vehicle documents like RC book, insurance, driving license, and our daughter’s official papers for the  Bhagyalakshmi scheme are all gone.”


The two have sent their children away to their hometown for a few days till they clear the mess. Gowramma, who works as a sweeper and her husband works as garbage collector, regretted, “We help to clean the city, but there is no one to help us.” Although the BBMP’s support force was supposed to help clear the mess, there is no sign of it in the locality.

Elsewhere , Mr. Suresh, owner of a printing press in Krishna Layout, moaned that he had suffered a loss of close to Rs 1 lakh over the last two days. “The motors and generator have stopped working and our raw material has  perished. In fact, the orders that were ready for delivery have also been destroyed,” he complained, adding that the press was shut since the lake breached on Sunday.


When the  floods occurred, Mr Suresh was out of town and was shocked on  his return, to see the press in knee-deep water. “While support is being provided for families, what about the losses suffered by businessmen?” he  asked.

Some other locals like  Roopa, were also taken by surprise as the water gushed into them.  “I was watching television when my children came running home  to say that there was water everywhere. My husband wasn’t at home and I didn’t know what to do. I immediately took my children to my neighbour’s house, which was on relatively high ground, but by the time I returned home, I found buckets, water bottles, vessels, books, etc. floating in water,” she recounted.   Fear stricken, she immediately called her husband and the family moved to a relief centre


Returning on Tuesday, Roopa and her husband were successful in clearing up the mess, but found little comfort in the job, considering the loss they had suffered. “The 4 to 5 kgs of rice that I had bought home, and other provisions for the house have all perished. There is a rotten smell coming from the rice, ragi, and wheat. Everything has been destroyed,” Roopa lamented.  Her husband ,who is a food delivery person,  hasn’t been able to go to work for two days . “Although  we have seen  waterlogging in our street during heavy rain, this was totally unexpected. As it happened during the day, we could run to safety. What if it had happened at night?” said Roopa as she continued to wash and dry the clothes that she had managed to salvage from the flood waters.


18 acres around Hulimavu lake encroached, CM calls for development plan in area

Two days after the breaching of the 130-acre Hulimavu lake , which led to flooding of hundreds of houses in its surroundings, Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa  announced a compensation of Rs. 50,000, which will  be directly transferred to the bank accounts of those affected by the disaster.

Hundreds of people were forced to abandon their homes and find shelter elsewhere as water from the Hulimavu lake entered their localities Sunday afternoon. Many were distraught as they lost their belongings, valuables and documents in the sudden flood.


Mr Yediyurappa , who inspected the flood ravaged areas on Tuesday,  ordered  a thorough probe into the disaster and promised stern action against the culprits. He also directed officials to make sure that a similar incident did not take place in other lakes in future.

Speaking to reporters, he said  630 houses, including 319  belonging to low income and economically weaker groups, had taken a hit in the flooding. The affected people were being provided food and shelter by the BBMP and efforts were being made to sanitise the entire area.


Mr. Yediyurappa also ordered  a comprehensive development plan to  rebuild roads, drains, and underground drainage in the affected areas and  supply of clean drinking water in these localities.

 Revealing that about 18 acres of the Hulimavu lake had been encroached upon according to the report of the Deputy Commissioner (Bengaluru Urban), mayor Goutham Jain said an honest effort would be made to clear the encroachments and the lake would be fenced and protected. He added that he would collect all details about the lakes that  the BDA will hand over to the BBMP .