BANGALORE: Friday’s night-long rain stopped Bangalore in its tracks, as the downpour resulted in waterlogging of the city’s thoroughfares, sent trees crashing and flooded houses in low-lying areas.
Bangalore, whose infrastructure starts creaking once the rainfall touches 60mm, had not bargained for 100mm of downpour on Friday. Over 25 trees came crashing in a span of three hours, triggering a flood of complaints to the BBMP control rooms. At least 472 complaints were recorded by the control rooms.
Overflowing of sewerage lines forced the opening of the lids of thousands of manholes across the city.
The rainwater flooded the roads, leaving cars and buses jammed in swirling waters.
The 430-metre Vittal Mallya Road, hailed as an innovative stretch, was one of the worst affected roads in the city. The over Rs 4 crore spent on the road to match it to international standards, literally went down the drain, as water stood up to four feet, giving bikers, scooterists and other motorists jitters.
“I was at The Biere Club and heading to my house which is a few minutes away. I was stuck at the Vittal Mallya Circle for 40 minutes. It was complete moribund is all I can say. There was no one to direct the traffic. Irritated, I waited for some magical solution to happen but in the end walked home. This is not a low-lying area, but why did this happen? I had assumed that the road was well built and the drains would work properly. I can’t figure out why this happened,” said Munira Sen, a well-known theatre personality and resident of Lavelle Road.
Around 9.30pm, the rear wheel of a BMTC bus came off after it was stuck in a drain whose grille cover gave away on Hari Krishna Road, near Shivananda Circle. Passengers travelling on the footboard were thrown on to the road and they suffered minor bruises. The accident sparked off a major logjam on the road.
Sarjapur Road, Lalbagh Road, Koramangala Ring Road and Hoodi Road took the brunt of rain fury. Over 12 houses in Nagendra Garden and 24 houses in Arundhathi Nagar near Okalipuram were inundated.
“The desilting work has been delayed for over one-and-a-half years, which is why the storm water drains overflowed in my area and low-lying houses are affected,” said Queen Elizabeth, corporator of Okalipuram ward.
M Lakshminarayana, BBMP commissioner, admitted there was a need to intensify the functioning of the BBMP control rooms. “We are now taking about 60-90 minutes to reach out to the public who complain to us. This time gap has to be reduced. Another issue is to get labourers to work in rain-affected areas,” he said.