Bengaluru Buzz: Leaves, wind caused underpass floods | Reduce, reuse, recycle centres … and more

Other news of the week: EVs can slash annual emissions, Indira canteen breakfasts upgraded, and Yellow Metro line to begin in Dec.

Underpass flooded due to dry leaves, wind

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) admitted its lack of safety audit for underpasses in heavy rain areas. A 23-year-old IT engineer, Batalu Bhanurekha, had passed away after the car she was traveling in had entered the underpass at K R Circle. A BBMP report, drafted by B S Prahlad, Chief Engineer of Road Infrastructure, said the flooding was due to a combination of gushing winds, abundance of dry leaves and heavy rainfall. In just one hour, the rainfall, measuring 24.7 mm, led to neck-deep waterlogging.

The dry leaves and branches obstructed the small vents of the drain gratings. While the drain can handle 12.50 lakh units of rainwater per hour, the leaves on the gratings blocked the channel. BBMP has proposed construction of drains at entry and exit points to directly channelise rainwater from the four converging roads at K R Circle into the main stormwater drain. It also recommends installation of speed bumps at the entry point, surveillance cameras, a vertical clearance gauge beam and boom barriers to limit vehicles during flood situations.

So far, the BBMP has completed the audit of 13 out of 53 underpasses and flagged three U-shaped underpasses as vulnerable – at K.R. Circle, Cunningham Road-Sankey Road junction and near Kaveri Theatre.  

On May 22nd, many parts of the city were still under water. The vulnerable Cunningham Road-Sankey Road underpass, also called the “magic box,” was pumped by workers all night. They said that despite the water and barricades, many two-wheelers still traversed the underpass.

Source: Indian Express, The Hindu, Deccan Herald

48 Reduce, Reuse and Recycle centres

The BBMP has started 48 temporary RRR (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) centres as part of its ‘My Life and My Clean City’ campaign, under the Swachh Bharat Mission — Urban 2.0 programme, from May 20th to June 5th. People can drop items, such as plastic carry bags, toys, old jeans, uniforms, saris, magazines, newspapers, old books, plastic items, and electronic items that can be reused and recycled. They will, in turn, receive E-certificates. Those who drop more items will be awarded gifts.

The main objective is to protect the environment by adopting sustainable lifestyles.

Source: The Hindu, The Times of India

Read more: Making sense of Bengaluru’s messy urban development data

EVs can slash annual emissions

Annual carbon dioxide emissions of 33 lakh tonnes can be cut down in the Bengaluru metropolitan region if electric vehicles make up for an average 32% of the vehicles on the road, according to a study by the Bengaluru-based Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP). It explained in ‘Bengaluru 2030: Impact of EVs on Vehicular Emissions’ that electrification of vehicles is the most practical approach to reduce vehicular greenhouse gas emissions and downgrade sources of urban pollution, including particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and black carbon (BC).

BMTC Bus boarding from Central Silk board
Currently, e-buses operate from three depots– Yelahanka, Bidadi, and Attibele. Pic: Ninan TK

Authors Saad Khan, Spurthi Ravuri and Thirumalai N C projected that on-road vehicles are expected to grow by 1.5 times, but the city’s electric vehicle fleet is projected to grow from 75,000 to 2.34 million by 2030, especially in the number of two-wheelers, followed by three and four wheelers.

Hence, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM) emissions are expected to increase by only 25%, 13% and 8%. It also suggested that renewable energy sources in the overall energy mix should be enhanced.

Source: Deccan Herald, Indian Express

Indira canteens upgraded

The BBMP has improved the Indira Canteens’ breakfast menu, to focus on health and quantity. Special Commissioner (Health) Dr KV Thrilok Chandra said that the menu will change every day, to include upma, kesari bath, bisibele bath, pongal, and idlis. The quantity of food, details of cost and tender approval from the BBMP will be sent to the government.

Out of 175 Indira canteens, 163 are operational. Officials, including zonal commissioners and health officials, have been asked to give a report on existing conditions.

Source: The New Indian Express

BWSSB to pay for unjust levies

The Bengaluru Urban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to return Rs 36,341 to Ajjappa who had to pay water bill charges since 2010, even though he did not use the connection. The commission also directed him to get compensation of Rs 10,000 for his mental agony and an additional Rs 10,000 as litigation costs.

In 2010, the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) had demolished a portion of his house in Sarakki, J P Nagar, for the Namma Metro project, while the rest of the house was left unusable. Meanwhile, the water meter had gone missing and an FIR was filed.

In March 2012, he had asked the BWSSB not to raise fresh water bills, but the BWSSB continued to raise water bills and sanitary charges.

Source: Indian Express

Read more: Interpreting Bengaluru’s urban development

Yellow Metro line to begin in December

The 19-km R V Road to Bommasandra Metro line , which will connect Electronic City, will begin operations in December 2023, according to the BMRCL. The Yellow Line will cater to lakhs and decrease traffic in the links connecting south Bengaluru and the southeastern city.

BMRCL MD Anjum Parwez said that Metro ridership would cross 10 lakh per day, once both lines become operational. The BMRCL has completed around 99% of the civil work on the stretch.

Earlier, the BMRCL had planned to open the stretch in two phases: first between Central Silk Board and Bommasandra and another phase between R V Road and Central Silk Board. For the first time, the BMRCL will build a road-cum-rail flyover from Ragigudda to Central Silk Board. The stretch is fully elevated, with 16 stations, while the R V Road station is the terminal station on the city side, where an interchange is being provided on the Green Line. Jayadeva Hospital station will serve as another interchange station with the Pink Line, while Silkboard station will be the other interchange station between Yellow Line and Blue Line in the future.

The Yellow Line will benefit techies working in the Bommasandra industrial area, HSR Layout, Electronics City, and Beratena Agrahara (Hosa Road). At present, a 69.66-km metro line is operational in the city.

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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