OTHERS

Rain havoc: Desilting of drains begins

BANGALORE May 29. To prevent water logging and overflowing of storm-water drains that cause disasters during rains, the BMP has started desilting over 40 km. of secondary drains in the City on a war footing.

The work, estimated at Rs 1.72 crore, will be completed by June 30. It has been split into 18 packages and awarded to private contractors through tenders, the Mayor, K. Chandrashekar, said here on Wednesday.

Addressing presspersons after inspecting the work in a few wards, he said over 2.15 lakh cubic metres of silt would be removed from the drains originating from the Vrishabhavathi, the Koramangala, the Challaghatta, and the Hebbal valleys. "The BMP has responded to complaints about inconvenience caused by rains because of the problem within 24 hours this time,'' he said.

The main cause for overflowing storm-water drains and inundation of low-lying areas was not because of the "inefficiency" of the BMP, but because of disappearance of lakes. "There were over 180 lakes in and around the City earlier. Now, it has come down to 60, out of which only 10 are in the City limits. The storm-water drain network converged with the lakes. But most of the latter have disappeared,'' he said.

The BMP had sought Rs. 5 crore from the Government for the work, which would prevent inundation of low-lying areas and strengthen the drains. A sum of Rs. 1.5 lakh had been sanctioned to each ward for relief measures when disasters occurred during rains.

He said over 40 JCB excavators and 80 tippers were being used for desilting. Desilting of one km. of a drain that passed through Bellandur City Municipal Council limits had also been taken up. This stretch of the drain was at the end of the Koramangala Valley, and without desilting it, overflowing of the drain could not be stopped.

Mr. Chandrashekar inspected the work on drains flowing through the Shankarappa Layout (behind Sujatha theatre), Kaveripura (Kamakshipalya), Moodalpalya, near Mysore Road-Ring Road junction, Koramangala (Lakshmanpuri slum), CT bed, and Ejipura, and on those joining the Bellandur Tank.

The BMP Chief Engineer (Projects), Rame Gowda, and several officers accompanied the mayor. The corporators, including G. Krishnappa, Shantakumari, Udayshankar, Srinivas, and D Shaila, joined the team for the inspection in their respective wards.

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