Bengaluru the city referred to as the startup capital of India, the hub for largest IT companies and also the city of lakes is now sinking. Floods have engulfed the city.
"Technology capital Bengaluru is facing waterlogging and floods in various regions of the city - areas like Marathalli, Bellandur, Sarjapura Road, Whitefield, Outer Ring Road, BEML Layout, and more are submerged in water leading to commuting difficulties".
A motorist falls while navigating his way through a flooded street after heavy rainfall in Bangalore, India, Monday, Sept. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Kashif Masood) (AP) (Sourced from mint)
Before we dive into this lets understand the context
On September 6, Bengaluru experienced traffic bottlenecks, power outages and flooded houses as a result of additional rain during an unusually heavy monsoon season. This week, Bengaluru appears to face no relief. Up till September 9, the Bengaluru Urban district is expected to have heavy rain, thunderstorms and lightning. Every year, in the months of September and October, Bengaluru is extremely susceptible to flooding.
What Netizens are saying ?
The Outer Ring Road (ORR), also known as the Dr. Puneeth Rajkumar Ring Road, which connects the city to its tech parks, frequently floods as a result of a lack of infrastructure. Some believe that people are bothered about the city being flooded only because it affects the productivity of the IT hub in the city. The area's infrastructure cannot support the rate of development. The area's stormwater drains are overworked as a result of the combination of precipitation and sewage.
As many as 110 villages were combined into Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in 2005, according to activist Nagesh Aras, but the city corporation hasn't bothered to connect the villages with the city's sewage infrastructure. Because of this, the stormwater drains malfunction, allowing rainwater and raw sewage to overflow onto the ORR, the activist told The News Minute.
Because there are no culverts along this stretch, rainwater and sewage water are forced to build up, which results in waterlogging. The highway acts as a dam for the water. According to reports, Bengaluru's drainage infrastructure is unprepared to handle periods of unexpectedly severe rainfall. Garbage frequently clogs drains, which limits the flow of sewage, and they are too small to support the weight of the expanding population.
I spoke to a few close contacts and interviewed them to understand what is the root cause of this issue ? How did a city that boasts of pleasant rain and cool weather all year round arrive at this ?
As he speaks he tells me that the base of his apartment is covered with water which is in Basawantgudi. The rather extended areas of Bangalore like Mysore road, Marathalli, HSR layout, Electronic city are the ones severely affected. For example : Marathalli or Marathahalli is one of the oldest lands in Bangalore. Marathalli and areas like Bellandur
was a land of agriculture and lakes. Bangalore was once considered a city of lakes. However over the years as the lakes went dry people started to use the land as a free land and built properties on them which is illegal as these properties were built on natural habitat.
Referring to a blog on news live he quoted as is given in the article "One set of people accused the IT sector and the ensuing migrant population for the rampant construction boom, which, according to them, led to IT parks and housing societies coming up on lake beds, rajakaluves etc. Successive governments have taken advantage of Bengaluru, but have done little to take a stand on infrastructure development, expanding civic amenities to keep pace with the population boom such as: well-planned roads, excellent storm water drainage system and the like"
The largest I.T corridor in Bangalore, India was reportedly built on top of a lake. To understand the risk of building a property on wetlands we have to understand what is a wetland ?
A wetland is an ecosystem within itself, which is defined by the presence of water flowing and which supports an array of unique plant and animal life.
When a property is built on wetland it ultimately damages the possibility of water that will eventually emerge from it and subsequently the life of the plants and animals that live off and feed from it.
Nature is a place of co-existence and with its presence and by respecting its presence by letting it be we can live peacefully. We are in no position to pollute them nor take it for granted. In a rush to build and construct natural habitats are severely polluted. In a report in 2016 it was reported that a lot of debris (mounts of waste were found in some wetland)
Coming back to my conversation with my friend he mentioned that in the recent years Bangalore he mentioned that the city received 260% extra rainfall. The city's planning and infrastructure comes into picture as well with large roads being built in the new areas and the lack of a proper drainage system.
In the end we discussed
What can we as citizens from across India learn from this and how can we support Bangalore ?
We have to acknowledge that we are collectively accountable for this issue. Rather than pointing fingers and blaming different parties we need to reflect and stand up for our mother earth. Request for accountable parties to hold people responsible for land encroachment to be brought and demand answers.
Keep in mind to build properties around nature and not on it.
Separating wet waste and dry waste and decomposing it and using it as manure for plants.
Keep our basic surroundings clean and lakes clean
Be aware of the substances we use like avoid the use of plastic especially now after the Single use plastics ban was announced. Use the CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board App) to help
Switch off all electric items and not leaving any loose wires to avoid getting electrocuted.
Refuse buildings built on encroached lands, find out about the builders, the authorities the history and the environmental impact.
Stop polluting lakes
Cleanliness begins from home. Use minimal water in daily activities like when taking bath avoid showers use buckets. Do not leave the tap running
Use sustainable products that do not harm the nature and do not take years to decompose when thrown.
Be responsible, raise voice participate in helping people, use helplines to save animals, avoid stepping out be aware and be alert.
- Compiled by Tanisha Agarwal.