Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who on Thursday inspected at least five badly flooded areas of the city with his cabinet colleagues, blamed record rains for the devastation.
In a closed-door meeting following the inspection, Bommai reportedly advised Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials to make regular field visits.
“The quantum of rainfall the city used to see over a 15-day period in May was recorded in just four to five hours on Tuesday. have been flooded. This has been happening for three or four decades,” Bommai told reporters.
Decongesting the city is the only way to reduce flooding problems in the future, he suggested.
Grants of Rs 1,600 crore
Bommai, which holds the development portfolio of Bengaluru, has pledged to release Rs 1,600 crore to upgrade the stormwater drainage system.
“The Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the construction of the storm drains is being prepared. The work of investigation, design, estimation and identification of bottlenecks is in progress. Preparatory work will begin soon,” he said.
He said the state government has already released Rs 400 crore to carry out the missing storm water drainage works. He said the old and narrow bridges crossing the Vrishabhavathi Valley will be replaced as they have become bottlenecks.
On Thursday, the Chief Minister inspected JC Nagar 5th Block of HBR Layout and Nagawara Subway Station, among others.
He also reviewed the progress of the sewage treatment plant being built in Hebbal to treat 100 million liters per day (MLD) of wastewater.
Bommai mentioned that the proposal to increase the capacity of the STP by another 60 MLD has been approved.
Siddaramaiah and HDK provide an update on the situation
Opposition leader Siddaramaiah visited rain-hit areas in Gandhinagar, Shivajinagar and Byatarayanapura constituencies on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters, Siddaramaiah accused the BJP government of corruption. “Under the guise of filling potholes, thousands of crores of cash have been eaten away. This needs to be investigated,” he said. “Also, when we were in power, storm sewer encroachments were cleared. That stopped. People were allowed to build houses over sewers. They need to be cleared.”
Legislative party leader JD(S) HD Kumaraswamy said he would visit Bengaluru from Friday to examine the rain-related damage.
“The city has seven ministers who failed to take care of the infrastructure. Despite the warning from the meteorology department, the government did not take any measures to ensure the safety of the people,” Kumaraswamy charged.