#Bengaluru has witnessed yet another year of horrific #floods and inundation, as the entire metropolitan city gets overwhelmed by #overflowingsewage. Citizens protest against the irresponsibility of the #BruhathBengaluruManahagaraPalike (#BBMP), as they often retort that the election work and pre-monsoon showers have delayed preparations.
The heavy storm of 8th September 2020 flooded the area of Rukmini Nagar troubling its residents all over again. One of the protesters told Bangalore Mirror that, “Every time we are told that the BBMP will act, but nothing has been done so far.” This area is often prone to flooding as a #Rajakaluve connecting to #Dasarahalli lake to the #Doddabadarakakllu gets flooded during the rainy season. Work on upgrading the storm water drainage was scheduled to complete in March, which was further rescheduled to May and then moved beyond July.
While the hardships faced by the residents of #Kodichikkanahalli in South-East Bangalore due to Rajakaluve is still afresh in memory, the office of the #Lokayuka had previously alerted BBMP on possible flooding in and around #Mahadevapura lake. Moreover, neither the BBMP nor the higher authorities have put any effort in removing the mud from Rajakaluve. R. Manjunath, the Dasarahalli MLA said that, “Work has begun to clear the Rajakaluve on both sides of the Chikkabanavara lake”. He also explained that, the work of clearing the Rajakaluve both in the upstream and downstream of the lake has started long ago at the cost of ₹30 crore. But it had to be stopped in between as the government stopped funding.
Lack of maintenance and re-designing of the drainage and sewage system, especially in Indian #metropolitan cities, remain as one of the biggest challenges. As #Mumbai was left destroyed by the devastating floods in August, so were many other areas across the country, including the massive seasonal floods of #Assam. Over 60 people were found dead in the Telangana floods and more than 3 lakh people living in 13 districts of Assam were affected by the third wave of floods. Furthermore, heavy rainfall in #Karnataka on 21st September flooded other districts like Uttara Kannada, Kalburgi and Haveri. Around 135 people stranded in the floods were rescued by the emergency service departments.
The ill-drainage system is one of the most important factors contributing to floods in India. It is repetitively suggested that the capacity of the upstream lake is to be increased and that concretisation of the drains would affect the hydrological functional ability of the SWDs. According to a 2018 report by Mint: “India generates over 150,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) per day, with Mumbai being the world’s fifth most wasteful city. Yet, only 83% of waste is collected and less than 30% is treated.” This further leads to blockages in drains and overflowing sewage system.
In Bangalore, more than 50 residential localities along with upmarket areas like #Manyata Tech Park witnessed an overnight rainfall of 125mm. Flooding in these areas, signalled to the inefficient civic body. The entire city was in a mess with floating debris and blockages at the railway underpass. This also suggest to a comprehensive failure of the state to curb the disastrous effects of the heavy rainfall. Leo Saldanha, co-ordinator of Environment Support Group said that, “During the many hearings, the court had warned of flooding if no action is taken to protect the lakes and Rajakaluves.”
“The BBMP has made no genuine effort to ensure water flows across the city landscape. By creating concrete roads and drains, the city has become a swimming pool with no adequate space for water to recharge,” he said, accusing the BBMP for not implementing the Justice NK Patil report of 2012.
– Arishmita Aditya