Officials say reducing the width of raja kaluve caused the flooding
More than 250 houses were flooded when Arakere lake breached, following heavy rain that lashed the city early on Wednesday.
Houses in surrounding areas of Shantiniketan, R.R. Layout, Vysya Bank Colony, Harali Sringeri Nagar and Saraswatipuram were flooded with the water that overflowed from the lake, and sewage that gushed out of manholes.
The residents of these areas spent a sleepless night trying to bail out the water that entered their homes. There was nearly knee-deep water in the houses in these localities. Household items, furniture, rations were all destroyed and were found floating in the water. Several two-wheelers and cars parked in the area were damaged.
The residents also had to put up with the foul stench of overflowing sewage. N. Vishwanath, resident of Vysya Bank Colony, said sewage overflow was a common occurrence every time it rained. He said sewage had got into sumps, contaminating the stored water.
The flood water even turned the busy Bannerghatta Road into a rivulet. This caused a huge jam and many motorists were stuck for a long on the motorway. S. Girisha, a petroleum engineer, said there was a traffic jam till Hulimavu as the stretch between the cemetery and Sagar Apollo Hospital was flooded. He said he avoided taking the road and took a circuitous route via J.P. Nagar to reach his workplace, spending more than one-and-half hours on the road.
According to BBMP officials, who were at the spot, a raja kaluve that is around 2.5 m wide passed through the localities. The heavy rain caused the excess water from the lake to overflow into the drain, causing the flooding. The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike has now proposed to increase the width of the raja kaluve to four metres. BBMP officials pumped out water from the houses using motors, while BWSSB officials used jetting machines to clear the clogged drainage line.
Local councillor S.A. Purushottam visited the spot and squarely blamed the BBMP, BDA and BWSSB for the flooding. He complained that the BWSSB had not executed the underground drainage work satisfactorily.
Narrowed raja kaluve
BDA Commissioner T. Sham Bhat attributed the flooding to the narrowed raja kaluve. “The problem was caused because the raja kaluve was narrowed down from 8 m to 2 m. As a result, the water overflowed from the drain and entered residential areas,” he said.