Bengaluru Buzz: Rs 962-cr project to prevent flooding | BDA’s land scams exposed…and more

After intense rains and flooding this week, the Chief Minister has approved a Rs 962-cr project on drains. Read more of the week's news in our roundup.

Concrete walls around drains to fight floods

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai approved a proposal by the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) to build concrete retaining walls around 88.5 km of stormwater drains (SWD) in the city. The project, costing Rs 962 crore, or as much as Rs 10.86 crore per km, is expected to free 58 low-lying areas from flood vulnerability.

However, ecologists countered that concretisation would lead to fast surface runoff and also hinder the percolation of water into the ground, leading to flooding. The need of the hour is a more integrated and holistic approach to water management, they said.

BBMP claimed it had already built concrete walls around 312 km of SWDs at the cost of Rs 2,169 crore over the last five years. Bommai asked the BBMP to also prepare a DPR (Detailed Project Report) to widen the drains and build diversion channels to prevent flooding.

Source: Indian Express, The Hindu, Deccan Herald

Flooding after heavy rains

On Monday, Yelahanka zone recorded 130 mm of rain that led to massive flooding of residential complexes and academic institutions. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) carried out relief and rescue operations. On Sunday also, Yelahanka zone had received the highest rainfall of 153 mm, followed by Horamavu in Mahadevapura zone (103 mm). IMD (India Meteorological Department) has recorded 1,480.2 mm of rainfall in the city this year. 

Heavy rain and flooding indicate unauthorised constructions on the city’s valleys and lake beds. Yelahanka lake, Singapura lake, Allasandra lake and Amanikere lake overflowed, flooding houses. Rains flooded some roads in North Bengaluru on Tuesday evening as well. Municipal authorities have failed to clear encroachments in lake land which would have eased flooding. A BBMP report six months ago revealed that over 941 acres of lake land was encroached.

Source: Indian Express, Deccan Herald

Civil Engineers protest faulty construction

On Thursday, the ACCE (Association of Consulting Civil Engineers), Bangalore centre, organised a walkathon to Freedom Park, to highlight safe construction practices and the need for strengthening bylaws and regulating the profession.

Spokespersons said that the recent building collapses in Bengaluru were due to the failure to consult civil engineers during construction and the lack of geotechnical investigations. They demanded that provisions of the National Building Code (NBC), 2016, be incorporated into local building bylaws.

Source: Deccan Herald

Read more: Construction quality norms: How to ensure buildings don’t collapse

‘Vaccine vehicles’ for door-to-door coverage

As many as 96 COVID ‘vaccine vehicles’ – 80 two-wheelers and 16 vans – were deployed across municipal limits for door-to-door vaccination coverage. According to BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta, it was a joint effort with the NGO Care India Foundation to get vehicles for each zone, with a data entry operator (verifier) in each vehicle.

Vaccine vehicles jointly deployed by BBMP and Care India Foundation
Vaccine vehicles have been deployed in the city. Pic credit: Twitter/Gaurav Gupta

About 1.37 crore have been vaccinated in the city so far – 88% in the eligible category have received at least the first dose while 62% got both doses. Mahadevapura zone has the highest rate of full vaccination (80%), followed by Yelahanka (73%), Bommanahalli (67%) and South (63%) zones. Dasarahalli zone has only 41% fully vaccinated.

Source: Indian Express

Anti-Corruption Bureau exposes BDA scams

The ACB (Anti Corruption Bureau) unearthed a number of scams through its raids on BDA (Bangalore Development Authority) offices, including the sale of corner sites and crediting compensation to the ineligible.

Corner sites that must be auctioned according to government rules were sold to private parties through forged documents. In Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Layout, compensation for land acquisition was credited to persons not related to the land. Massive irregularities have led to losses of over Rs 200 crore to the State exchequer, ACB officials said.

Source: Indian Express, The Hindu

Read more: “Primary healthcare should remain with BBMP”

33 school students test positive

Thirty three students and a fully-vaccinated staff member tested COVID-positive at a private boarding school in Dommasandra, near Sarjapura, on Thursday. Sources said that nearly 500 students and the staff had been tested, and 32 of the affected were isolated at the school’s medical centre in Dommasandra. None have been hospitalised.

Those who tested positive are asymptomatic, but the school has been sealed and marked as a containment zone. Steps are being taken to test all primary and secondary contacts, as well as the remaining students.

Source: Deccan Herald

Work on Metro Blue Line to start soon

Work on Phase 2B of the Namma Metro Blue Line, involving a 38.44-km elevated line from KR Puram to Kempegowda International Airport, will begin in three months. Deadline for completion is December 2024, said Anjum Parwez, Managing Director at BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd). Contract for the work has been given to Hyderabad-based NCC Ltd at Rs 2,200 crore.

Source: Indian Express

BEOs told to issue TCs for kids

The Department of Public Instruction issued a circular directing Block Education Officers (BEOs) to give transfer certificates to children who wanted to leave private schools, if their parents had filed an application. Many private school managements had refused to give certificates, so parents asked the government to intervene.

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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