Residents of low-lying areas say BBMP helplines were unresponsive to pleas

The city’s infrastructure came crumbling after a record rainfall of more than 108 mm on Saturday. Residents in low lying areas had a sleepless night and claimed that the civic officials and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) helplines were unresponsive to their complaints.

Shivakumar S., a resident of Rogers Road in Richards Town, said his compound was filled with knee-deep water. “All our electrical appliances, clothes and household items were damp. The vessels were floating in water. Every time its rains, we face problems. But this time it was worse. We stayed up till 4 a.m. and cleaned the house as the BBMP officials were unresponsive,” he claimed.

His son, Ajay Sai, a third standard student, who was visibly upset, was seen busy drying his books. Deepa Gupta, who lives in the adjoining house, said water from the drain had entered the homes and had left behind a stench. “The authorities need to help us find a permanent solution so that we do not have to bear the brunt every time it rains,” she said.

Another resident of Soundarya Devi apartments in Okalipuram, who did not wish to be named, said that the basement was filled with sewage water. “The infrastructure in our area is pathetic as the road repair work has been left midway. Repeated complaints our councillor has not helped.” The resident said the civic body’s unpreparedness to the rains had created havoc for at least 50 homes in the area.

Apart from the BBMP control rooms, the phone lines to the Fire and Emergency Services also kept ringing and they received at least four calls to pump out water from the basement of apartments in Banasawadi, Fraser Town and Vittal Mallya Road.

When The Hindu visited some of the slums in the city, the residents were struggling to protect their belongings amid the rain and sewage water that had entered their homes. Stating that their experience on Saturday night was a “nightmare”, Saalamma, resident of Sunnadagodu slum near Gowdanapalya, said that water entered their houses when they were asleep. “Our locality was flooded with sewage water as there is a drainage beside our slum,” she said.

Periyamma, who lives in Kamakhya slum, said water entered their homes while they were having dinner. “We could not even shift our belongings. None of the members of my family could sleep yesterday as our roof was broken too.” Another resident, Kumari of Manjunatha colony, said that the sight of the clouds was enough to give them sleeplessness nights.

BBMP version

However, the BBMP officials said they were flooded with calls and attended to 74 complaints, including flooding and tree falls. The officials said that majority of the complaints were attended to.

Responding to charges of calls not being attended to, BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan said the civic body had eight lines. “But most people call only on one line, so we will publicise the other numbers soon,” he said.

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