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Bangaloreans' water woes continue

Bangalore Bureau

Chief Minister Dharam Singh calls for damage control mechanism; Rs. 55 crores for relief work

  • Rs. 30 crores for Bangalore city, seven CMCs
  • Rs. 25 crores for Mysore, Mandya, Hassan, Kodagu, Kolar
  • Holiday for schools in affected areas
  • Fire Services, police coordinate efforts to restore normality

    FLOOD HAVOC: Fire service personnel rescue marooned residents on Hosur Road in Bangalore on Monday. — Photo: K Murali Kumar

    BANGALORE: Heavy rain during the weekend has left a trail of woes for the residents of suburban Bangalore with areas adjoining Hosur Road and Bannerghatta Road being the most affected. Fire Services personnel used fibre rafts to rescue several residents trapped inside their houses and apartments in Bommanahalli area on Monday. As many as 15 Fire Services vehicles were used to clear water from residences and 10 have been put on stand-by. The police too helped in evacuation operations.

    Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh has announced an immediate release of Rs. 55 crores to take up emergency relief work in the rain-ravaged areas of Bangalore city and the five districts affected by rain.

    Stressful morning

    Office-goers in the affected areas had a stressful Monday morning as all major roads remained inundated in rainwater. Water was still gushing out of Begur and Madiwala tanks inundating the stretch between Silk Board Junction and Parappana Agrahara Junction while adjoining areas remained in waist-deep water.

    While many commercial establishments adjoining Hosur Road downed their shutters, employees of information technology firms had to struggle through stagnant water in company pick-ups or in their own vehicles. Many had to park their vehicles midway next to the flyover near Silk Board and board a bigger vehicle to reach their destination. Though vehicular traffic from Krishnarajapuram towards Bommanahalli and Electronics City was diverted via HSR Layout, commuters remained helpless as the authorities diverted floodwater onto the road near Mangammanapalya.

    The overflowing Puttenahalli Lake continued to inundate areas adjoining J.P. Nagar 24th Main and Kanakapura Road. Residents had a harrowing experience clearing water from their houses to recover their belongings.

    15 houses collapse

    As many as 15 houses have collapsed in the rain in different parts of Bangalore city since Sunday. A holiday was declared for schools in many affected areas.

    Traffic was affected on Hosur Road, Bannerghatta Road, Kanakapura Road, Hennur-Geddalahalli Road, near Rajarajeshwari Nagar Arch on Mysore Road and surrounding areas. Police even tried to remove the median on Hosur Road to allow traffic movement.

    At a meeting with MPs, legislators, Bangalore Mahanagara Palike councillors and officials to hammer out a damage control mechanism as the rain fury left most of Bangalore city's outskirts in deep waters, Mr. Dharam Singh put in place a crisis management committee headed by Chief Secretary B.K. Das to supervise damage-control measures.

    Of the Rs. 55 crores sanctioned for relief, Bangalore city and the seven city municipal councils that are on its outskirts get Rs. 30 crores. The balance sum is meant for Mysore, Mandya, Hassan, Kodagu and Kolar districts.

    Mr. Das said the immediate task would be to evacuate the people from the areas in the vicinity of the lakes and tanks. All natural drainages have been blocked as slums have come up on the land and there are also encroachments, and it is imperative that the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and other civic agencies are authorised to remove them. More rain is predicted during the week, and steps would have to be taken to ensure that no new tank breaches or overflows, he said.

    Mr. Dharam Singh also asked the legislators to monitor the situation in their constituencies, assess damage, and suggest measures to tackle the situation, as there is every indication that it would continue to rain in the city and neighbouring districts for a few more days. He left soon after to inspect the damage caused by the breaching of several tanks in Kolar. He is due to tour Mysore, Mandya and Hassan on Tuesday.

    Officials chided

    Mr. Dharam Singh opened the meeting by ticking off the officials for staying in-doors all Sunday, instead of panning out to see where help was needed and to ensure that further flooding could be prevented.

    "I will not tolerate this attitude. You must all work round-the-clock at times of crisis," he said. His criticism that there are too many committees and agencies but very little coordination had the BMP Commissioner Jothiramalingam clarify that he had visited three areas on Sunday and made an assessment of the damage. He had inspected Madivala and Bande Slum and noted that the Nayandahalli Tank had breached flooding Mysore Road.

    In the western division, the narrow outlets leading out at points where BMP limits end and the CMCs' begin, had caused a backflow. The BMP has readied eight cutting machines, six earth-moving machines, three pumps and 72 personnel to be deployed in case of emergency.

    Mr. Dharam Singh said more assistance would be sought from the Centre for relief work.

    Finance Minister P.G.R. Sindhia, Water Resources Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge, H.N. Ananth Kumar, H.T. Sangliana and Tejaswini Sriramesh, MPs, and all legislators from Bangalore city, several MLCs, Mayor R. Narayanaswamy, and councillors attended the meeting.

    30 tanks breach in Mandya

    Mysore Staff Correspondent reports:

    More than 30 major tanks breached their banks and heavy crop losses were reported in Mandya district.

    The losses due to the heavy rain in Mysore district has been estimated at Rs. 76 lakhs with standing crops on over 2,200 acres of land marooned in various parts. The rain has left one person dead in Hunsur taluk.

    Two killed

    Kolar Correspondent reports:

    Two labourers were killed in Bangarpet taluk on Monday as a beam collapsed following heavy rain. The names of the dead were given as Narasimhamurthy (35) and Bharathamma (30). Sources said a group of labourers were engaged in construction work in Moidu complex in Robertsonpet when a 40-ft beam collapsed on them killing the two. Three were injured in the incident, they added.

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