Arivudainangai K., a class 9 student, wading in knee-deep water, exclaimed: “Look at the chocolate waters of Kendriya Vihar!”
For the past three days now, Kendriya Vihar, a Central government apartment complex, has been cut off. More that four apartment blocks in the southern and south-eastern sides of the complex have been flooded following heavy rain that has lashed the city.
Incidentally, the former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam also owns a flat in this complex.
The association has disconnected power supply to a few blocks as a precaution against accidental electrocution. Diesel generators are being used to power the lifts. The flooding problem has been severe this year, claimed M.K. Santhanam, a resident. “This is a low-lying area. We are not suffering for water; we are suffering from water.”
The Kendriya Vihar Apartment Owners’ Association is yet to figure out how to pump out the water from the complex. S. Nagarajan, the association’s working president, said there had been no flooding till 2006. It all began after the road-widening was taken up by the National Highways Authority of India in 2006.
While the raja kaluve connecting Yelahanka and Jakkur lake has been encroached upon, the storm-water drain connected to the kaluve passes right through the complex. The culvert that drained water from the complex has now been blocked, thus causing the rainwater to flow into the complex and flood it.
“The association contacted Union Minister for National Highways Oscar Fernandes and Union Minister for Petroleum M. Veerappa Moily. Mr. Moily even inspected the spot earlier this month and assured us of releasing funds from his MPLAD to prevent flooding,” he said.
An NHAI official, when contacted, attributed the flooding to the encroachment of the raja kaluve by the village people near Kogilu Cross.
“We sought land to rebuild the drain, but the Kogilu Cross village residents resisted it. We are now constructing a drain within our own area. This will be connected to the nearest nala (natural drain) that is functional. This is being done within the project cost,” the official said.