Finding rain-proof solution for Brand Bengaluru is tough task, admits Karnataka CM
Modernisation of storm water drains in an integrated way is being taken up at a cost of Rs1,600 crore, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said during an interaction with media persons after visiting rain-affected areas of Bengaluru on Thursday.
“We had taken many decisions to address the flooding problem in the city when I held a meeting with MLAs of Bengaluru when it rained last time. A decision was taken to develop storm water drains (raja kaluves). The DPR has been prepared and the plan has been included in the budget. Work orders will be issued soon. Bottlenecks and silt will be removed for smooth flow of water in these storm water drains – Rs 400 crore is being spent for the purpose,” Bommai said.
Pointing out that in HBR Layout, silt has clogged the major drain up to a stretch of 2.50 km, the CM said secondary and tertiary drains will be constructed along storm water, or primary, drains. The state government will fund work on primary drains, while BBMP will foot the bill for secondary and tertiary drains. It has also been instructed to increase the capacity of the STP there to 40 mld, Bommai said.
Rain mayhem in May
Pointing to very heavy rains within a short time as the main cause for flooding, Bommai said the average 15-day rainfall for the month of May was witnessed in just 4-5 hours in the city. “It is one of the heaviest rains that the city has witnessed in the month of May in the last 40-50 years. Naturally, all the low-lying areas were flooded. This has been happening over the last 3-4 decades in Bengaluru whenever it rains heavily. Though relief works are on, the rapid growth of the city is making it a tough task to find a comprehensive solution,” Bommai said.
Desilting and STPs
Work is on to build a 100 mld STP while another STP with a 60 mld capacity has been approved at Hebbal. Desilting will be taken up in Mahalakshmi Layout ward for smooth flow of water, while old bridges are proving to be bottlenecks in the Vrishabhavathi valley. In KR Puram ward, the railway over bridge is causing waterlogging and action is being taken to solve the problem. Desilting and pumping out of water in inundated areas has been taken up on a war footing with the involvement of Home Guards, BBMP staff and Civil Defence personnel, Bommai said.
“ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಭಾರಿ ಮಳೆಯಿಂದ ತೀವ್ರ ಹಾನಿಗೊಳಗಾದ ಪ್ರದೇಶಗಳಿಗೆ ಭೇಟಿ ನೀಡಿ, ಪರಿಸ್ಥಿತಿಯ ಸಮಗ್ರ ಅವಲೋಕನವನ್ನು ನಡೆಸಲಾಯಿತು. ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ಈ ಸಮಸ್ಯೆಗೆ ಶಾಶ್ವತ ಪರಿಹಾರ ನೀಡಲು ವ್ಯಾಲಿ ಆಧಾರಿತ ಅಭಿವೃದ್ಧಿ ಮಾಡಲು ನಮ್ಮ ಸರ್ಕಾರ ಸಿದ್ದವಿದೆ.” ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿ : @BSBommai pic.twitter.com/tuUrP6wGY4— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) May 19, 2022
Compensation for houses flooded
Referring to houses that have come up along the storm water drains, Bommai said they would be cleared to enable smooth flow of water. Compensation of Rs 25,000 has been announced for houses which were flooded, and the amount will be transferred directly to the affected families through DBT. Meanwhile, BBMP has been instructed to provide the affected families with rations for a week and make arrangements to serve food to them till the water levels recede.
The DPR for the Rs1,600-crore project to modernise storm water drains has been approved, and a survey, estimates, design and identification of bottlenecks are being carried out. Noting that even drains that are 30 feet wide overflow when it rains heavily, Bommai said many of these drains were built long ago and their carrying capacity is proving inadequate for present needs.
Bengaluru then and now
Replying to a question about the concern expressed by former Chief Minister SM Krishna over ‘Brand Bengaluru’, Bommai said, “We are aware of his concern. Bengaluru had seen good development during his tenure. But there is a huge difference between Bengaluru today and the city then. The city is growing at a rapid pace. It has expanded in a big way with the inclusion of 110 villages. Work to provide drinking water and underground drainage systems to these villages is going on. We are tackling the new challenges in a planned manner.”
Clearing encroachments along raja kaluves would be taken up on a war footing. Action would be taken to decentralise the administrative structure of the city, he said.
The Chief Minister visited JC Nagar and Laggere wards in Mahalakshmi Layout assembly constituency. Later, he went around Nagavara Metro Station and HBR 5th Block and visited the Hebbal STP.