Rain in Karnataka Bengaluru

Removal of encroachments on storm water drains in Bengaluru will be taken up on war footing: CM

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai inspects a storm water drain during a tour of rain-affected areas in Bengaluru on May 19, 2022.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai inspects a storm water drain during a tour of rain-affected areas in Bengaluru on May 19, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

A special drive to clear encroachments on Storm Water Drains (SWDs) will be taken up on a war footing to ensure free flow of water and prevent flooding, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai told mediapersons after visiting rain-affected areas in north and east Bengaluru. 

The city’s civic body had made a list of 2,626 buildings encroaching SWDs in 2016, of which 1,480 buildings were demolished. However, the encroachment clearance drive hit a roadblock following a legal challenge. The drive was discontinued and 714 buildings, identified as encroachments, are yet to be cleared, which the Chief Minister said will now be done on a ‘war footing’. 

“In the SWD network, we are providing treatment only where the problem arises. But this will lead to a problem somewhere else. Recently, I held an all-party meeting and have now shifted focus to valley-wise holistic development. A DPR has been prepared identifying all bottlenecks and places where redevelopment is required. We have allotted ₹1,600 crore and work will begin soon,” Mr. Bommai said. 

During his inspection of rain-affected areas, the Chief Minister observed that rains on May 18 night were so intense that at many places drains have overflowed.

Video | CM checks rain damage in Bengaluru

“These drains are very old, and are not designed for this population or rainfall. Sewage is also occupying most of the space in these drains. While we ensure sewage is not let into drains, there is a need to widen these drains as well. In Vrishabhavathi Valley, we have observed that some of the old bridges are hindering flow of water. There are 8-10 such bridges. I have asked civic officials to redesign these bridges, and identify places where there is a need to widen drains,” he said. 

In the short run, Mr. Bommai said the key to prevent flooding is to desilt drains. He has instructed the civic body to not only desilt SWDs, for which the Karnataka Government will provide funds, but also desilt secondary and tertiary drains feeding the SWDs.

“I visited several rain-affected areas. In most places, like HBR Layout and Hosakerehalli, desilting of drains could easily prevent such impact on residential pockets,” he said.

Mr. Bommai also visited the 100 MLD Sewage Treatment Plant in Hebbal, and announced approval for another 60 MLD plant at the same site. 

Video | Rain in Bengaluru was cool till it became dangerous

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Printable version | Jun 9, 2022 11:52:52 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/removal-of-encroachments-on-storm-water-drains-in-bengaluru-will-be-taken-up-on-war-footing-cm/article65429588.ece