Tenders were called for two years ago, and work was re-tendered twice
‘Work allotted to a contractor in November last’
BBMP engineer denies work has been allotted
BANGALORE: Revanasiddappa Manjunath, head archak of Mahadeshwara Swamy Temple in Ranganathpura, is suffering from skin allergy and has to visit the doctor at least once in 15 days.
Along with more than 1,000 devotees who visit the temple daily, the archak has to put up with unbearable stench and swarms of mosquitoes besides the danger of slipping and falling into the open storm water drain which runs adjacent to the temple.
Residents of the area too have put up with this nuisance for long. “The stench, dirt and the muck have caused allergic reaction on my skin,” Mr. Manjunath said.
Sewage water enters the temple and the neighbouring houses in the area even after a light drizzle.
So edgy are residents in the area that during the recent spell of rain they feared that two missing children were washed away in the drain. But fortunately they were found playing in the neighbour’s house.
“Sharadamma (the mother of the children) was lucky. But there could be loss of life for sure if the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) does not wake up,” R. Jayalakshmi, who runs a flour mill in the area, said.
This major storm water drain that originates from Kamakshipalya runs via Ranganathpura carrying sewage, garbage and other waste from Basaveshwaranagar, Karnataka Housing Board (KHB) Colony, Govindrajnagar and surrounding areas. It empties into the Vrishabhavathi Valley near Balayanakere in Binnypet.
Apart from the sewage flowing from these areas, sanitary connections of houses located alongside the drain have been directed into it. Houses are constructed on both sides of the drain and every time it rains, the soil becomes loose and gets washed away.
Instead of constructing retaining walls on either side of the drain or closing it, the BBMP has stacked sandbags along the drain.
“But that is of no help as there are several obstructions in the drain preventing smooth flow of water. This causes overflowing and the resultant problems,” Chand Pasha, another resident, said.
A former corporator of Govindrajnagar, G. Krishnappa, during whose tenure the drain repair work was sanctioned, is irked that the contractor entrusted with the work, performed puja thrice, but never started work.
“Tenders for the proposal to cover the drain with deck slabs and lay concrete on the road at a cost of Rs. 44.5 lakh were called for two years ago. The work was re-tendered twice as there were not enough bidders.
“The work order was allotted to a contractor in November 2006. But with no proper supervision by BBMP officials, the open drain has become a death-trap for residents,” Mr. Krishnappa told The Hindu.
BBMP Executive Engineer Rangaswamy denied that the drain work was allotted to anyone. “We will call for short-term tenders shortly to cover the drain and ensure safety of residents,” he added.