As Bengaluru continues to bear the brunt of severe waterlogging due to heavy downpour, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday accused the previous Congress government in the state of the current situation in the city. Speaking to reporters here, Bommai said, “Karnataka especially Bengaluru has received unprecedented rains. This kind of rain has not come in the last 90 years. All the tanks are full and they are overflowing. There is continuous rain. Even today it is raining.”
The Chief Minister said that there is a perception that the entire Bengaluru is in a problem. but that is not true. “The entire Bengaluru is not in problem. The problem is in two zones, particularly Mahadevapura. The condition of Mahadevapura is because of 69 tanks in the small area. All are overflowing. Further, all the established is in low-lying areas. And there has been encroachment,” he said.
Bommai accused the previous Congress government for the present situation in Bengaluru. He said, “This happened because of maladministration and totally unplanned administration of the previous Congress government. This is the result of the bad administration of the Congress government. They never thought of maintaining the lakes. They gave permission right, left and centre in the lakes and buffer zone.”
The Chief Minister said the administration is working round the clock to tackle the waterlogging problem in the city. He said control rooms have been made to resolve issues.
“We have taken it as a challenge. Our officers, engineers, workers and SDRF team are working 24X7. We have cleared a lot of encroachments. And we will continue to clear them. We are putting sluice gates at the tanks so that tanks can be well managed. We have started dewatering in most of the places. We have given Rs 1,500 crore for draining of water in Bengaluru while another Rs 300 crore has been given to remove encroachments. We will ensure that in future there is no impediment to the flow of water,” he said.
Asked about the drinking water supply disruptions in Bengaluru, Bommai said, “Rainwater affected two water pumping stations in Mandya district. Water has receded from the first pumphouse and supply will begin. Another pumphouse is to be cleared by today afternoon. Meanwhile, water is to be provided through tankers and borewells.” There have been traffic snarls in different parts of Bengaluru on Tuesday due to waterlogging. Traffic was moving at the speed of turtle on the outer ring road of Marathahalli-Silk Board Road, a key stretch in the city due to heavy waterlogging.
Meanwhile, many IT professionals in India’s silicon valley got a new experience and resorted to tractors to reach their workplaces, thanks to the waterlogging. Yemalur which is close to the HAL Airport has been submerged in water. Many employees of IT companies living in the area on Monday took tractors to reach their office.
“We cannot take so many leaves from the office, our work is getting affected. We are awaiting tractors to drop us for Rs 50,” a woman working in an IT firm told ANI. Chief Minister Bommai has assured IT companies about a discussion on the estimated loss of Rs 225 crore due to rain and waterlogging in Bengaluru. He said that he would call and discuss the damages and compensation borne by them due to rain and waterlogging in the state capital.
“We will call the IT companies and speak with them related to the issues that they are facing due to waterlogging. We will also discuss the compensation and other related damages that have been caused due to rain,” Bommai told ANI. It comes after the IT companies asked the Chief Minister to solve the outer ring road issue.
Waterlogging led to traffic jams and disruptions in the lives of normal people in several parts of Bengaluru. One of the locals in the Koramangala area said that waterlogging had taken place due to heavy rainfall, making driving very difficult. “Too much rain has taken place. We woke up in the morning and saw that waterlogging had started. Water on the road had come up to the level of the divider. After that, we started pumping water out of the road and basement. My whole basement has got submerged under water,” a local resident told ANI.
Many of the places in the city basements of shops and apartments got flooded.A local said, “It happens whenever it rains. It has been raining heavily this year. Those who have shops in basements are in trouble.” Another local said that this situation happens yearly and they have to pump out water due to a poor drainage system.
“This happens every year, waterlogging takes place after the rain and we have to pump out water. There is no permanent solution. When the road was being made, the drainage system wasn’t prepared well. It leads to many difficulties for the public, many women have actually slipped and fallen into the water,” a local said. Earlier in July, Karnataka suffered heavy floods due to rains, after which rescue missions and relief work had to be carried out. Chief Minister Bommai also had to seek financial assistance from the Centre.