Monsoon Season: Elaborated plans put in place to ‘save’ Bengaluru
Bengaluru: As the IT city Bengaluru is bracing up for the monsoon season, the authorities are keeping their fingers crossed and are hoping to save the city from devastation, unlike the last year.
Heavy rains last September had wreaked havoc in the city and the images of the city had taken a beating at the global level. Although measures have been taken to remove blockages and encroachments, sources say that measures are not enough to avoid a repeat of last year’s situation.
The newly elected Congress government has asked Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to be prepared for any eventualities. “The civic body’s machinery has been galvanised to face any situation arising due to monsoon,” BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Girinath said.
Elaborate and meticulous preparation have been put in place following the directions of the Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar. All zonal commissioners, joint commissioners, chief engineers and executive engineers along with the forest wing have been asked to be on alert and constantly monitor the situation.
Sources in BBMP said that it has been decided to run control rooms 24X7 from the zonal level to the sub-divisional level. Equipment, vehicles and other paraphernalia are being kept in a state of war readiness.
Pertinently, days after the Congress government’s swearing-in, heavy rains lashed the city claiming the life of an Infosys techie. She died after her car was inundated in an underpass. Following the incident, it was decided to close down the underpasses whenever the city witnesses heavy rains.
In the first week of September 2022, the city received the highest rainfall in a single day in the last 38 years. The city witnessed massive rainfall inundating IT campuses and posh localities where tech people reside.
Images of knee-to-waist-deep water on arterial roads, tractors and JCBs moving IT employees and CEOs went viral throughout the world exposing the crumbling infrastructure of the city.
Bengaluru Political Action Committee (B-PAC) Civic leader S.R. Raghavendra told IANS that Bengaluru is “not prepared to face monsoon this time” as well.
“There is no coordination between civic agencies in the city. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA), Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), and Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) do not have any coordination between them,” he said.
“Bengaluru city is witnessing development but the government cannot bring changes overnight. It is a shame on Bengaluru administration machinery that a techie had to die in an underpass while everyone watched,” he said.
The BBMP is presently run by the bureaucracy and for political reasons, the elections were not held by the previous BJP government.
The ruling Congress wants to split the BBMP into multiple corporations for ease of administration as per the BBMP Restructuring Committee. The committee was formed by the Congress government in 2013. The proposal of the committee was rejected by the BJP which assumed power later.
Ambika Mani, a software entrepreneur and President of Bytarayanapura Constituency for JD (S) told IANS: “A heart-wrenching incident where a techie drowned before our eyes is devastating and a shame for all the officers. The media showed it for a few days as the biggest tragedy ever in the history of Bengaluru but in vain as no strict action was taken against the people involved in the tragedy.”
She said that the houses in most parts of the city get submerged during the rains. “We suffered a lot during the last season. No precautionary measures were taken back then. I recently visited Singapore and admire how they have developed their infrastructure, waste management, and education system,” she said.
She further said that the infrastructure in Singapore is such that every single drop of water during the monsoon enters the drainage system systematically.
“It is commendable that the Singapore government has created such an infrastructure. Our government needs to work on infrastructure, waste segregation, and rainwater harvesting. A lot of reworking needs in the city. I wish and pray that this monsoon does not harm the people across the city and our nation,” Ambika Mani added.