Yelahanka continues to flood amidst narrow storm water drains

Bangalore City

Authorities failed to provide a detailed project report. The Rs. 900 crore project is still on hold.

The widening of Storm Water Drains (SWDs) struggles to see the light of the day as Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) fails to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) ahead of the monsoon season. The civic authorities were required to start working on the widening of the SWDs to aid the smooth flow of water during heavy rains. The government had suggested  turning the inner mud lining of SWDs into Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) canals for better strength.

J.N Srinivas, assistant engineer from BBMP, Yelahanka, said,  “We have issued a tender notice and will  begin preparing a Daily Progress Report (DPR).” He said that the stretch from Yelahanka to Jakkur is narrow and needs to be amended as soon as possible, but there are some glitches in the process. “The revenue auditors assess the width available and if it falls short, then we have to go for land acquisition,” he said. “This is a bit of a tedious process and usually takes time,” he added.

The current SWDs in Bangalore have a mud lining that is unable to control the floodwaters that occur during heavy rains. The government had proposed to concretise these storm water drains and widen their length in order to increase their capacity to take water in. Low-lying areas like Yelahanka suffer a lot of problems during heavy rains due to massive flooding.

Gauriamma, a resident of Yelahanka, said that the water from these drains starts pouring shortly after the rains and floods the area nearby.“ The water logging gets worse in monsoons and in some areas you will see water literally inside houses,” she said.

Srinivas said that the plan is underway and the construction on these canals should start anywhere between 30 and 45 days. He also mentioned that the Yelahanka drain is eight feet wide whereas the appropriate width should be around 30 feet. “We are planning to acquire land through Transfer of Development Rights (TDR),” he said.

Storm water drains play a vital role in preventing floods, water clogging, ground water recharge and  maintaining clean water bodies.

A report suggests that the storm water drains in Bengaluru have been rapidly disappearing, and many of these SWDss are also vulnerable to waste and sewage disposal.

Rahul Sokhal, a civil engineer, said that the size of the drainage, topography, and the nature of the soil are some of the points to be considered before revamping or constructing a storm water drain. “Different surfaces require different types of interventions. Bangalore definitely needs an RCC intervention when it comes to SWDs,” he said.