Part 2: Why Bengaluru floods — Understanding history and location

As Bengaluru forgot its history and expanded into the valleys, over the last two decades, some parts of the city became more vulnerable to floods.

In a previous article, Citizen Matters summarised and republished the first in the YouTube series of Arun Pai’s video explainers on why Bengaluru floods to provide insights on the reasons for the city experiencing its worst floods in September this year.

In episode one of the series, Arun Pai explains how elevation determines why certain parts of Bengaluru flood. The second and third episodes in the “Floodsplaining” “series respectively explain how our ancestors captured and utilised rain water and how some locations in the city are more vulnerable to floods.

Arun Pai, founder of Bangalore Walks, uses interactive maps, history trivia, and quizzes in the video series on the Bangalore Walks’ YouTube channel, to explain in detail, the causes for floods and possible solutions. He focuses on reasons for flooding and not on who is to blame.

Recent flooding in Bengaluru
Post rain waterlogging in a residential neighbourhood in central Bengaluru. Pic: Shreya Nath

History matters

In episode two of the series, titled “Blr Floods-History Matters!” Arun Pai asks a quiz question: How many lakes are there in Bengaluru? The answer will give you much-needed information.

Arun Pai then goes onto provide fascinating insights, engaging viewers using maps, trivia, and quizzes, on how, over 700 years ago, our ancestors created engineering marvels to capture rain water. He also explains how Bengaluru is one of the few cities that is not located near a water source, like a river or a sea, and that its only water source is rain. Rain water does not stay in Bengaluru, it has to be captured and stored. He then visits Vibhutipura tank, in South east Bengaluru, and takes viewers on a historical journey to the time period of 1308 AD, to understand how our ancestors effectively captured and utilised rain water.

Read more: An unequal monsoon: The impact of the floods on Whitefield’s poor settlements

Watch the full video here:

Episode two of FloodsPlaining series. Video courtesy: Bangalore Walks YouTube channel

Why location is important

In episode three, titled “Location Matters! It’s about black & blue”, Arun Pai stresses that location explains why some parts of Bengaluru flood. He traces, via a topographical map, how rapid urbanisation has made some parts of the city more vulnerable to flooding.

Read more: The story of Thippagondanahalli Dam on the Arkavathi

In the  1990s, settlements were located in the ridge, which was protected from excessive flooding. However, over the last few decades, the city has expanded into the valleys, making some areas prone to flooding. This explains why Mahadevpura flooded as it is located in a valley, surrounded by high grounds on three sides.

Episode three of the FloodsPlaining series. Video courtesy: Bangalore Walks YouTube channel

[The videos have been republished with permission]

Also read:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Soaring temperatures, surging power demand: What you can do in this scenario

Intense summers cause a spike in power demand, leading to rampant load shedding. A look at why and how such demand must be managed.

India has seen the worst of summer this year, with temperatures breaking records in many parts of the country. Among various other impacts, high temperatures have also caused a surge in power demand in cities. This has not only created issues in terms of frequent power outages, but has also increased carbon emissions as the demands are met.  Read more: Scorched cities: Documenting the intense Indian summer of 2024  India’s power consumption increased by over 8% to 127.79 billion units (BU) in February 2024. The highest supply in a day rose to 222 gigawatts (GW) in the same month. The Ministry…

Similar Story

Bengaluru’s street vendors are the first to be impacted by climate change: Lekha Adavi

Lekha Adavi, member of AICTU, says the nature of street vending has changed in the city due to the impact of climate change.

(This is part 1 of the interview with Lekha Adavi on the impact of climate change on Bengaluru's street vendors) On May 1st, while the world celebrated Labour Day, Bengaluru recorded its highest temperature in 40 years. With temperatures continually on the rise, one of the most affected groups are street and peripatetic vendors (vendors who operate on foot or with push carts). In this interview, Lekha Adavi, member of the All India Centre of Trade Unions (AICTU), talks about the effect of climate change on street vendors. Excerpts: Lekha Adavi, member of the All India Centre of Trade Unions…