Accusing the BJP government of going slow on the development of storm-water drains (SWDs) in Bengaluru that resulted in flooding of several areas during the recent rains, Congress member Krishna Byre Gowda on Thursday alleged that the government had actually diverted funds earmarked for construction of SWDs to other minor works.
“The BJP dispensation was able to complete development of only 63 km of SWDs in Bengaluru in the last three years as against the requirement of developing about 400 km. Such lethargic progress is the main reason for the recent flooding of the city,” Mr. Gowda said, while participating in a debate in the Assembly on the problems of people due to recent heavy rains.
₹350 cr. diverted
“The government has diverted around ₹350 crore from the ₹1,321 crore that had been earmarked for development of SWDs,” he alleged, adding that money was diverted towards taking up development of small roads in the city.
He explained that a total of 400 km of SWDs had been developed in Bengaluru till 2018-19 (before the BJP came to power). But from then, the BJP had been able to develop only 63 km of SWDs though it had to develop another 400 km to insulate the city from floods, he said.
Pointing out that Karnataka in general and Bengaluru in particular had been receiving heavy rains in the last four years, Mr. Gowda argued that the government should have anticipated rains this year too and taken up development of SWDs well in advance to prepare for any eventuality.
Referring to the statement of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai that the government would get details on the SWDs in Bengaluru, Mr. Gowda said already the CAG had mapped the SWDs in the city and also published them in its report that had been tabled before the State Legislature.