On Monday, the Urban Development Department released money sanctioned for road and drainage development in Shivajinagar; BBMP officials plan to allocate Rs 30 lakhs for a parallel drain on Chowdi Gali to combat waterlogging.
On Monday, the Urban Development Department (UDD) of Karnataka government approved Rs 7 crore for construction of roads and drain in Shivajinagar, around Broadway. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials plan to allot Rs 30 to 40 lakhs to build a Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) drain on Chowdi Gali in Shivajinagar to reduce the effects of waterlogging.
Mr Rizwan Arshad, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Shivajinagar Constituency said, “We’ve secured grants for new roads yesterday and once we complete the underground work, including water supply and drainage, we’ll proceed to lay new roads and install drains.”
These grants are part of the revised action plan for the non-started work under Amruta Nagarothana Yojana, that was announced by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government in Karnataka.
For several years, residents and business owners on the Broadway road in the Hazrat Kambal Posh (HKP) road area have been grappling with persistent waterlogging issues. Ikram Khan, an automobile shop owner said, “For years, our area has been affected by severe waterlogging due to poor drainage. The situation affects the local businesses, like my automobile shop, as damage caused by water leads to wasted parts. The recently constructed red arch obstructs our shop view from the main road, resulting in fewer customers.”
Fouzaan Qureshi, a student, said that waterlogging can damage vehicles and disturb the routine of students living in the area, especially when they have coaching classes in the evening. “Yesterday, it rained so much that I had to walk through the street with my pants getting all wet,” he said.
It takes around two hours for the water in the waterlogged lanes to flow into the drain. Following that, the residents themselves clean the accumulated silt and remove pebbles from the street, often mixed with garbage. Salim Khan, a resident said, “It has been two months since the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) replaced the underground drainage and water pipelines in the area, but the road restoration work is still not completed. Despite numerous complaints from residents, there has been no action taken by the authorities to address the problem. We need to clean debris and pebbles from the streets, along with dealing with poor garbage cleanup in the area.”
Mr Ranganath, assistant engineer of BBMP ward 90 and 92 said, “We plan to reduce rainwater accumulation by constructing a 215-meter underground drain near Chowdi Gali, covered with slabs. Estimated at Rs 30 to 40 lakhs, the proposal is awaiting the chief commissioner’s approval, which may take two or more months.”
“Yesterday, the government approved grants for the construction of roads and drain in the area, and we’re working on the detailed project report. Tender process will begin within one-two months, and that should take around three months,” the assistant engineer added.
He also said that daily labor is hired to clear silt in the area for temporary relief till BWSSB finishes road restoration. Mr Santosh Kumar, assistant executive engineer of the underground sanitation project said, “Filling and levelling work of the roads will be done in the coming week.”
“We’re addressing a critical issue in the area, mainly due to the inadequate drainage system, which cannot accommodate the increased population. This problem is linked to other infrastructure aspects such as water supply and gas pipelines. The area’s low-lying nature worsens these challenges as it collects water from across the region,” said Mr Rizwan Arshad.
“I’m confident that we’ll see significant improvements in the next two years. We’ve already secured grants for the construction of new roads. Our focus is to complete the underground work first, and then we’ll address other aspects. This is a continuous process, and there’s still much work ahead,” he added.
Vikram Bhat, architect and urban designer, highlighted the importance of infrastructure of the city before taking up any development project. “In the Shivajinagar area, one potential solution is to divert a portion of the treated stormwater into Ulsoor Lake, while maintaining its freshwater level. That is how Bangalore was planned initially. Unfortunately, these connections have not been taken care of and haphazard road construction has disrupted the natural flow of water. Implementing a well-structured stormwater management system can address this issue. In the 18th and 19th centuries, well-thought-out channels directed water to the lake. However, rapid city expansion, driven by the IT industry and ad-hoc development, has highlighted the need for infrastructure to precede city growth,” he said.