CM visits flooded Kendriya Vihar
Admits that many residential layouts and buildings had come up on water channels and drains
A four-wheel drive with an open sun-roof ferried Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai around the flooded premises of Kendriya Vihar, near Kogilu Cross, in Yelahanka zone on November 23 morning.
Accompanied by local MLA S.R. Vishwanath, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta and senior officials, the Chief Minister went around the apartment complex and listened to the grievances of residents.
The apartment complex that abuts Yelahanka lake has been flooded since Sunday night. Personnel from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had been pressed into service and residents were rescued on rubber rafts.
Speaking to reporters after inspecting the complex, Mr. Bommai attributed the flooding to the unprecedented rains in the area. Water from 11 lakes in Yelahanka zone flowed into Yelahanka lake, causing it to overflow and flood the complex.
“The lake has two kodis (weirs), both of which are overflowing owing to the huge volume of discharge from the lake. There are 2 rajakaluves (storm water drains), but their width is not commensurate with the size of the lake,” he said and admitted that many layouts and buildings had come up on channels, kodis and drains, compounding the situation.
Once rains stopped, BBMP had been directed to take up work on widening the rajakaluve to at least 30 feet. The required land could be acquired through TDR (transfer of development rights). He said the government would also coordinate with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for construction of a drain across the highway (Ballari Road).
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in a discussion with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta and other civic officials in the flooded Kendriya Vihar apartment complex in Yelahanka on November 23, 2021.
He was accompanied by Yelahanka MLA S.R. Vishwanath (right).
That apart, the government had directed the civic body to take up strengthening and remodelling of 50-km of rajakaluves, apart from widening and clearing encroachments. The government would give the required funding support to the BBMP, he added.
Compensation for damage
Mr. Bommai said that, as per initial reports, more than 400 houses in different parts of Yelahanka zone had been flooded while 20 kilometres of main roads and 10 kilometres of other roads had been damaged. In Byatarayanapura Assembly constituency, around 600 houses had been flooded and around 45 kilometres of roads were damaged.
“As an immediate relief, officials have been directed to provide ₹10,000 to residents of houses that were flooded. Those that have been damaged excessively will get ₹5 lakh each,” he said.
He admitted that many apartments that had come up on the buffer zone of drains, and lakes had been most affected. He said such areas would be identified followed by work on clearing encroachments and strengthening the drain network on priority basis.
To minimise the occurrence of such floods, the Chief Minister said the civic body had been instructed to draw up a master plan, and work on the same would be taken up in phases.
Mr. Bommai later visited the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), which was also flooded. After meeting Bharat Ratna C.N.R. Rao, he inspected the laboratories and library that were inundated.
“The institute is on a lake bed. We have noticed that the drain system connecting lakes – Yelahanka lake to Jakkur lake to Rachenahalli, which eventually joins the Pinakini and enters Tamil Nadu – is narrow and needs to be widened. In some places, such as at JNCASR, diversion canals are needed. A master plan will be drafted,” he said and added that the institution would also be involved in drafting the master plan.
“This was an unusual rain event, where in just 2 hours, 138 mm of rainfall was recorded,” he said.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been apprised about crop loss and other rain-related damage. “He has directed us to take up relief measures immediately, besides short-term and long-term solutions,” he added.