Not so smart? Inundation of TenderSURE and Smart City roads raises questions

The heavy rain that lashed the city on Tuesday evening saw TenderSURE and Smart City roads, pitched as a panacea for road infrastructure gaps in the city, heavily inundated, raising questions among citizens. 

The recently completed Smart City roads Rhenius Street and Kamaraj Street were inundated and water took several hours to recede. Videos of UB City road, one of the first TenderSURE roads, flooded with waist length water, went viral on social media. Several others like Cunningham Road, Vittal Mallya Road, and Residency Road also saw water logging. 

A senior traffic police official said the problem on most of these streets was that the water outlets were not in tune with the gradient of the road, leading to water stagnation. He also said the civic body rarely cleaned out the tertiary drains by the side of these streets, which significantly reduces their carrying capacity. “The civic body needs to maintain the drains regularly and at certain points sync the water outlets with the road gradient,” the official said. 

However, B.S. Prahlad, Chief Engineer, Road Infrastructure, BBMP, said these roads were not flooded but due to heavy rain there was a high run-off that took time to recede from the street. “Tuesday’s rain were not only very heavy but came during a very narrow window which led to high runoff on the street,” he said. 

Rajendra Cholan, MD, Bengaluru Smart City Ltd., said of the 31 streets completed till now under the project, only two streets - Rhenius Street and Kamaraj Road - saw inundation. “On Rhenius Street, the water outlet point done by the civic body has a design fault which is causing a reverse flow of water on the road. We have inspected it and the civic body has agreed to correct it. Kamaraj Road is a low-lying area to which water from surrounding streets gush in. I have ordered a detailed study of the entire area to sort out the problem,” he said. 

However, citizens argue if these roads are also inundated like other roads, them being touted as design solutions to the city’s road mess rings hollow. “The problem is a design flaw. These roads have not been designed taking into account climate change. Very heavy rainfall in a very narrow time window has become more frequent over the recent years. But these roads are not designed for such events. There is a crying need to tweak our roads to sustain such climate events which have become a reality today,” said N.S. Mukunda, of Bengaluru Praja Vedike. 

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 9:47:25 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/not-so-smart-inundation-of-tendersure-and-smart-city-roads-raises-questions/article65430625.ece