Bangalore Buzz: Flood warning for September | Push for suburban rail | KIA second fastest growing airport… and more

Been busy or away from your city? Catch up on some of the most critical developments in Bengaluru over the last one week.

KSNDMC warns of possible flooding in September

Bengalureans felt the ripple effect of floods in Kodagu District (where a rainfall of 768mm left villages ravaged) on August 24, when the city received 43 mm of rainfall till 9 pm. Areas such as Malleswaram, Rajajinagar, Hebbal, Sadashivanagar, Kengeri, Adugodi and Mysore road received very heavy rainfall.

Once the rain started, Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) issued warnings by dispatching messages through their mobile application to certain key areas. The centre has forecast heavy rain in the immediate future, and has intimated the same to BBMP. Scientists warn that 80 mm to 100 mm of rainfall could be enough to cause a disaster in Bengaluru.

Encroachment of Storm Water Drains (SWD) is largely responsible for the accumulation of water in low lying areas. An unnamed official source from the BBMP has said that the encroachment removal drive could not be taken up last year, as there were no surveyors. The drains deteriorate without maintenance, eventually reducing their ability to withstand rainfall up to a mere 35 mm to 40 mm. Thus, even if rainfall is not as heavy as it was in September 2017 (120% above normal levels), there is a possibility of flooding.

Source: The Times of India | The New Indian Express

BBMP dispatches 100 pourakarmikas to clean Kodagu post flooding  

BBMP corporators from all 198 wards have donated their monthly salary towards helping the victims of the flood- ravaged Kodagu District. The amount collected by Mayor Sampath Raj was Rs 2.8 crores for Kodagu and 1 crore for Kerala. Currently, 32 rehabilitation centers in Kodagu are providing shelter to 3000 people, and the death toll has reached 20.

Around 300 male pourakarmikas were sent to clean up the mess created by landslides, destroying the scenic landscape of the region. They were led by a team of 10 senior BBMP officials and health inspectors. The Kodagu district officials had requested the BBMP for 100 mobile toilets for women, specifically in relief camps. The toilets were sent overnight by truck, and have already been installed for usage.

Source: Deccan Chronicle | Deccan Herald | The News Minute

Suburban rail, pod taxi and elevated corridor: Three projects get government push

Three much debated projects introduced in the Chief Minister’s budget for improving last mile connectivity have received a push through three different developments over the last one week.

The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for suburban railway system in Bengaluru could not begin work due to majority ownership by private entity, I-DECK Ltd. This road-block was addressed through ‘in principle’ approval by Railways Ministry to changes in the share holding pattern of the Karnataka Rail Infrastructure Development Ltd (K-RIDE), under which the SPV to implement the Suburban Rail Project for Bengaluru, will be set up. In the meeting held in Vidhana Soudha on August 21st, officials from BMRCL and BMTC participated in the discussion on the proposal sent by the state government to grant primary ownership back to the government .

This may be expected to assuage the anger of citizens who have been demanding a well-planned suburban railway network that would solve their commuter related woes. Activists from Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB) are gearing up for a campaign titled #ModaluTrainBeku on August 31st through a staged rail yatra in the afternoon.

Secondly, the pod taxi system is also officially under-way now. The rope-way enabled transit system that is proposed to connect 43 metro stations as a feeder service in the first phase has been suddenly approved by the BBMP without consulting the opposition.

Even with public outcry and scientific studies denying feasibility, the government is keen on elevated corridors for Bengaluru.  In a meeting held with all stakeholders on August 25th, the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL) evaluated the possibility of 53 entry and exit ramps every 2 to 3 kms along the corridors, along with parallel lanes for BMTC buses.

Source: Citizen Matters| The New Indian Express| Bangalore Mirror|Deccan Herald| The Times of India

400 homes destroyed inside Bellandur slum

Kariyammana Agrahara, a slum settlement of 1500 dwellers and 400 odd houses, located roughly a kilometre away from Bellandur lake, was mercilessly bull-dozed by the BBMP on August 18th. BBMP alleged that the slum was formed over a rajakaluve eight years ago by migrants from UP, Assam and West Bengal.

Mayor Sampath Raj  justified the severe action taken, saying the settlement was in the lake buffer zone, on land belonging to the government. He also said that several previous warnings had been issued to residents before the demolition drive.

Alternate Law Forum Lawyer Vinay Sreenivasa took on the accusation of encroachment made by the Palike, and said that the allegation was baseless. He argued that the settlement was situated at a distance of 1.3 km from the Bellandur Lake. This was in accordance with an order issued by the National Green Tribunal stating the buffer zone should be maintained within 50 metres of a water body.

Source: Deccan Herald| The New Indian Express

Bangalore airport the world’s second fastest growing

Routesonline, a leading event management company in the field of aviation, released a report on August 22nd ranking the world’s fastest growing airports. The analysis put Kempegowda International Airport’s growth in the second spot, ahead of other airports located in Los Angeles, Madrid, Frankfurt, and Tokyo. KIA even beat Delhi which emerged in the sixth spot.

Experts say that Bengaluru being the Silicon Valley of India, there is a high population of techies who want to travel business class and this has contributed to the rise of passengers every year. In the first half of 2018, a total of 1,58,50,352 passengers were recorded travelling from Bengaluru by flight. This is reportedly an increase of 41,80,852 passengers compared to the first six  months of 2017.

Only airports crossing 2.5 million passengers from January to June 2018 were studied for the ranking.

Source: The New Indian Express | Bangalore Mirror

Compiled by Seema Prasad

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