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Explained: Why Is Outer Ring Road Always Flooded?

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On August 30, traffic on Bengaluru’s Outer Ring Road (ORR), which links the city to its technology parks, came to a complete halt. In Bellandur, traffic was extremely slow because of the flooding caused by the relentless rain.

However, the flooding in ORR is hardly a recent problem. Even with just 2mm of rain, ORR was flooded in 2017, according to TNM. In five years, not much has changed.

Activist Nagesh Aras, speaking to The News Minute said, “ORR floods every single year during the monsoon season and no one bothers to fix the underlying issue.”

One of the main causes of the annual floods in ORR is a lack of infrastructure. Infrastructure in the area cannot keep up with the rate of development. Due to the mixing of rainwater and sewage, Nagesh noted that the area’s stormwater drains are overburdened.

“In 2005, as many as 110 villages were merged into Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike(BBMP) but the city corporation hasn’t bothered to link the villages with the city’s sewage system,” Nagesh added.

“There are quite a few engineering flaws in the development of the road. Most importantly the lack of culverts. The road acts like a dam to the flowing water and with the lack of culverts, the rainwater and sewage water have no other way to flow but to be accumulated, leading to waterlogging,” Nagesh added.

Even when the rains stopped, the ORR stretch close to RMZ Ecospace was under water for three days.

The reason for this, according to Nagesh, is that the road is given a camber when it is built. The lateral slope known as camber is used to raise the centre of the road’s surface so that rainfall can drain off of it.

Only the middle lane of the ORR is suitable for vehicular travel because of the water accumulation on the right and left lanes caused by the camber. Because of this, traffic remained heavy even after the rain stopped.


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