Bengaluru floods: Waters recede, residents count losses

Relief workers pump out water from Kodichikkanahalli roads.

Bengaluru: South and south east Bengaluru, which saw unprecedented floods with the breaching of lakes in heavy rain early Friday, limped back to normalcy on Saturday as the water receded.

While some people were seen moving their damp furniture, mattresses and other wet belongings to their terraces for drying, others could do little but lament the loss of equipment worth lakhs in the floods.

“I have lost equipment worth at least Rs 2 lakh. My fridge was floating in the water. My television, UPS, grinder, stabilizers and many other household articles are gone,” said Mr Manoj Bhandar, of Duo Enclave Layout and an administrative manager with Schneider Electric on Hosur Road.

Although the water is receding, the people are now having to cope with the stench caused by the flooding. As a precaution against diseases breaking out, BBMP pourakarmikas were out in big number spraying bleaching powder on roads and drains in Anugraha Layout, Duo Enclave layout, Lake Retreat Layout, and Doctors Layout.

“Although water receded from inside our houses Friday night, the roads were still waterlogged Saturday morning. There is stench everywhere. The firemen were still pumping out the water this morning,” said Mr Sethumadhava, president of the Anugraha Layout Residents Welfare Association, regretting there was no sign yet of any permanent solution to stop the lakes breaching in heavy rain. “They should at least reduce the retaining wall’s height so water can flow from this area into the Madiwala lake,” he suggested.

Over 200 fire and emergency services officers worked with 40 State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) staff and home guards to pump out the water from the roads in Kodichikkanahalli, which was one of the worst affected areas. “We used three de-watering pumps along with other floating and portable pumps at different locations to pump out the water into huge mobile tanks,” said Mr N.R. Markandeya, deputy director, fire prevention, assuring that things were under control and teams of firemen had been deputed for monitoring the area in case of more rain.

“We shifted around 80 to 85 people who panicked on seeing the water level rise and wanted to go to their relative’s or friend’s houses,” Mr Markandeya added.

Meanwhile, power was restored in most layouts in Kodichikkanahalli after BESCOM gave its clearance, but some areas were still waiting for it on Saturday.

Transport minister, Ramalinga Reddy, visited Kodichikkanahalli along with the Chief Secretary, Mayor Manjunath Reddy, and BBMP commissioner, N. Manjunath Prasad, among others, to oversee the flood relief measures.

GUEST COLUMN: ‘Our Suggestions were ignored ’

Sethumadhava, president, RWA, Anugraha Layout

The flooding in Kodichikkanahalli was caused mainly due to encroachments of the primary storm water drains. As encroachments increased along with the non-commissioned underground drainage networks (UGDs), the residents let their sewage into the storm water drains. And then to stop the sewage from entering the Madiwala lake, the forest department built a retaining wall around it and let it into a canal shaped drain near it. But the 20 to 25 feet wide primary drain running from Kodichikkanahalli to the side canal built around Madiwala lake, has only an 8 ft wide entry point, which is not big enough for the volume it handles. The permanent solution would be to reduce the height of the retaining wall built by the forest department so that only the sewage is stopped from entering the lake and the rain water is allowed into it. Alternatively, all encroachments must be cleared from around the lake and work on an underground drainage network commissioned.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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