Bangalore, September 26: Residents of Shivan Chetty Garden dread the monsoon months. Every time it rains, the nala (big drain) that runs across the area overflows, thus turning Kamaraj Road and Armstrong Road into rivulets. The problem is only compounded by the fact that large sections of the retaining wall of the drain are missing. So, through the gaping sections of the retaining wall sewage flows onto the road thus flooding it every time it rains. The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) storm water drain department has not been able to repair this, despite floating tenders more than six times, claimed Anathaswamy, BBMP’s chief engineer (storm water drains). “Since the BBMP’s credibility has taken a beating, there have been no responses to the tenders.” Yet another reason for people not showing interest in responding to the tenders is the low schedule of rates (SR), he added.
The weakened retaining wall has caused lots of problems to the residents of the area. Saravanan, local resident, has been moving from pillar to post trying to draw the attention of the authorities concerned to the condition of the drain and the dangers that this poses to residents of the locality. “It being in the heart of the city, it is strange that the authorities are continuing to turn a blind eye to the people’s problems,” he said.
While giving a description of the issues that they are facing, he said that when it rains it is difficult to see the huge gaps in the retaining wall. This creates a dangerous situation. “With lack of playgrounds, children are forced to play on the streets. There have been instances when children have slipped and fallen into the drain,” he claimed.
According to Bhaskar L.G., who works in a software company, the slow progress of the sewage pipeline replacement work by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has worsened the condition of the drain.
“The work has been progressing at a snail’s pace for the past three years. Sewage water flows into the drain, which has resulted in the increase of infections among the residents here.”
Sai Prasad, a resident, claimed that because of the overflowing drain and the stench it raises, the rental rates have dropped drastically.
According to him, garbage is dumped indiscriminately into the drain and that is the reason why the drain gets clogged and thus sewage overflows onto the road. Garbage is also being dumped near Subhash Chandra Bose Circle, he added. “After the BWSSB took up the pipeline work, we were told that the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) would remove silt from the drain. But nothing in that direction has been done till date. When we complained, the BWSSB and BBMP only pointed fingers at each other. Our problems are far from being solved,” Mr. Sai Prasad lamented.
However, the BWSSB officials claimed that the pipeline replacement work was almost completed. A senior official from the waste water department conceded that the work had got delayed. He told The Hindu that the work would be completed within a week’s time.