Bengaluru Buzz: Post-rain distress | Action for flood-affected | New traffic management body

Weekly news update: City continues to grapple with flooding, power cuts and supply issues in the aftermath of rains; a new traffic management body proposed and more.

City reels under post-rain distress

Since June 1st, the city has received 1,032 mm of rainfall against the average of 661mm. The slums in Munnekollal, Brookfield, Palyam, Whitefield, and BEML Layout have been severely affected. Even four days after heavy rains, the migrant labour colony in Munnekolal was still flooded, without any means to prepare food or sleep.

Those who live in tents alleged that they had received little help from the government and were being provided food, water and other necessary items through NGOs and other CSR initiatives only. Some migrant workers in Whitefield said that work and daily wages had stopped at construction sites. The BBMP gives one meal a day. The water level has decreased, but they still cannot cook.

Two of the most upmarket properties, where many of the top management of several IT and start-up firms reside at Epsilon and Divyasree 77 degree East have been the worst hit. Over 50 luxury homes, part of the Epsilon Residential Villa complex in Yemalur lay abandoned after water rose to over 8 feet. The stranded families were rescued by Tuesday morning by the Fire and Rescue Services.  The water, which would normally go downstream to the Varthur Lake has seen a backflow due to the lack of drainage routes.

In Giridhama Layout, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, on Wednesday, a landslide pushed a 20-tonne boulder down the hillock. As the rain had softened the surface, almost 15 boulders rolled down. Shikaripalya Lake near Electronics City has been saved, but encroachment of drains and bund and multiple violations remain a concern. Authorities failed to take action on buildings near the buffer zone of the Kaikondrahalli Lake, even though it has been four years since the BBMP issued an order to demolish the SJR Watermark building. On Borewell road in Whitefield, around eight apartments were affected. Rafts were being used through the flooded basement and residents said that the electricity had been out for three days.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Hindu, The Indian Express

Read more: Homeless and penniless, families of Brookefield settlement blame adjacent tech park for flooding

Action for the rain-affected

Grocery delivery app Dunzo has stopped services in parts of the city. Offering temporary shelters, guidance on claiming insurance, distributing food packets and grocery kits to help citizens stranded without power and water supply are some services being taken up by NGOs.

Citizens say they are not aware of whom to contact during distress, as officials are non-responsive
They point to the need for elected councillors, as there have been no municipal elections for two years. Their absence in the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) is creating a distance. That is why the city was not able to handle the rain-related crises very well this time, say activists.

Chief Minister Bommai on Wednesday said his government will seek special grants from the Union government. In a meeting with top entrepreneurs and NASSCOM representatives, IT-BT and Higher Education Minister C N Ashwath Narayan said all efforts would be made to preserve Brand Bengaluru and a virtual meeting will be held every month to address the grievances of IT/BT professionals, develop stormwater drains and drinking water supply under the 5th phase of the Cauvery.

Health Commissioner Randeep D Wednesday directed health officers to prepare an action plan to contain the spread of communicable diseases. He also directed that a control room should be set up to monitor and coordinate a detailed action plan at all healthcare facilities with required human resources, testing kits, lab consumables, drugs, chemicals, equipment and other logistics.

Rain-related problems like flooding in the southeast parts will be resolved by the next monsoon, officials assured IT sector officials. He also said that successful flood mitigation policies in areas such as the Electronic City would be adopted in areas such as the Outer Ring Road, where several tech parks are affected, since September 5, including at Yemalur, Bellandur, Sarjapur and Varthur.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Hindu, Indian Express, The New Indian Express

New traffic management authority on the cards

The government is mooting a new traffic management authority, bringing road, metro, railways and civic authorities under one umbrella. It will table a bill outlining its powers during the legislative session on September 12th, said Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai after meeting Union surface transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday.

A view of a congested street in Bengaluru
Traffic management needs to be taken up. Pic: Matthew T Rader

Some traffic woes are probably due to multiple agencies, such as the municipal corporation, National Highways Authority of India, BDA, BMRDA and PWD working in silos.

Source: The Indian Express

Read more: Namma Metro has only worsened Bengaluru’s traffic congestion and air quality

Power cuts black out Sarjapur Road, Bellandur, Yemalur

Areas in Sarjapur Road, Bellandur and Yemalur blacked out due to BESCOM disconnecting power to apartments and gated communities. In some localities, electrical infrastructure was under 5 to 6 feet of water. To safeguard its citizens and mitigate concerns over possible damage to underground cables and panels recently laid out, BESCOM cut off the power supply.

Its helpline (1912) was flooded with distress calls on Sunday and Monday morning., with 32,049 complaints, of which 22,560 were registered for further action. About 16,389 complaints were referred to the subdivision and power supply was restored. About 6,171 complaints are still pending and will be resolved soon, a senior BESCOM engineer explained.

Source: The Times of India

Just 42% of Grade 3 kids good in numeracy: Study

Only 42% of Grade 3 students meet the global minimum proficiency in numeracy, wherein students have developed sufficient knowledge and skills and can successfully complete the most basic grade-level tasks, according to the Foundational Learning Study (FLS) 2022 by NCERT. The study was conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Education in March. About 86,000 Grade 3 students from 10,000 schools were covered and the study sample included state government schools, government-aided schools, private recognised and central schools.

Source: The Indian Express

Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar

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