Bengaluru: In the wake of flooding in North Bengaluru that wreaked havoc on Monday, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday directed the civic authorities to start a drive of identifying the encroachment of stormwater drains (SWD) to avoid flooding.
He also announced a compensation of Rs five lakh to those whose houses were completely damaged and Rs 10,000 to those whose houses were inundated in the floods ”Several residential complexes built on the stormwater drains or its buffer zones face the consequences whenever there are heavy rains. We are serving notices to those buildings, which have come up on stormwater drains or its buffer zone. We will start a drive,” Bommai told reporters after inspecting Kendriya Vihar apartment in Yelahanka in the city.
Stating that flooding and encroachment of stormwater drains were a major problem across Bengaluru, the Chief Minister said the government has decided to extend the remodelling of the stormwater drain by another 50 km.
Bommai also said that he has directed the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Chief Commissioner to soon start a drive to identify the blockage in stormwater drains and remove them. He assured the Palike of financial assistance in completing the work.
Regarding Yelahanka, he said he has noticed that the stormwater drain has been encroached at some places for which he directed Gupta to widen it, Bommai told reporters.
Due to the torrential rains from the wee hours of Monday to the morning, the apartment and the surrounding places were inundated. Many cars in the basement of the apartment were submerged.
Fire and Emergency Services and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rushed there to evacuate people stuck in the apartment using boats and tractors. The Chief Minister’s convoy had to wade through the waterlogged Kendriya Vihar.
Bommai said he asked Gupta to get the land from the land owners by issuing them Transferrable Development Rights (TDR).
”The stormwater drain is eight feet wide. It should be widened to at least 30 ft. We will talk to the National Highway Authority of India officials to get the water passed from this side of the road to the other side,” he said.
The Chief Minister said the flood in Yelahanka caused damage in an area of around 10 km whereas in Byatarayanapura around 600 houses and around 45 km road suffered damage due to floods.
On the occasion, Bommai announced a compensation of Rs five lakh to the owners of badly damaged houses and Rs 10,000 to the owners of inundated houses.
”I have asked the chief commissioner to release Rs one lakh to the badly damaged houses and Rs 10,000 to the inundated houses as an instant relief,” Bommai said.
He further said he has asked the Palike chief commissioner to prepare an estimate of the damage to the infrastructure due to floods and submit it to the government.
The Chief Minister also visited the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) at Jakkur which was badly affected due to heavy rain. The premier research centre whose founder president is Bharat Ratna awardee Prof C N R Rao, resembled a lake on Tuesday as well.
According to sources in the JNCASR, the laboratory and the library were submerged in the JNCASR and a few costly equipment and samples of some viruses were damaged.
A researcher, requesting anonymity, said that they were doing research on the HIV/AIDS and the novel coronavirus, which got affected due to the floods. Bommai met Rao and discussed about the damage caused to the institute.
He also visited Manyata Tech Park, which was also inundated due to heavy rains.