By Suraj Suresh
While few Bengalureans continue to celebrate Dasara at home with much pomp and fervor, there were slushy roads, flooded houses, damaged cars and displaced livelihood at Hosakerehalli, which is one of the worst affected areas in Bengaluru owing to the heavy rains on Friday.
According to the India Meteorological Department(IMD), Bengaluru has received 13.2 mm rain from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm on Friday.
On Saturday, even though the roads looked dry and the water level had receded, the aftermath was worst than the flooding.
Hundreds of families were left in tears as they have been brought to the roads and their property has been destroyed.
“I had just bought ration to feed my child but now, I’m left with nothing. I have no where to go. Who will help me now? How will I feed my children?,” said one of the residents of Dattatreyanagar in Hosakerehalli.
Amidst chaos, a heart-warming incident took place in which an infant was rescued by the SDRF and localities in Hosakerehalli. The infant has been housed in another place which is away from the flood-affected area. Even though the child is safe, Ramesh, who is the father of the child, slammed the BBMP officials for not preparing ahead of the rains, according to him BBMP had not taken up the stormwater drains repair work before the monsoon set in.
“I’m fortunate that my child was rescued last night by the SDRF team. But, I blame the BBMP for the situation that has arisen in Hosakerehalli. They should have taken up the repair work in Summer, why now? They’re to be blamed for our misery,” Ramesh added.
While few residents have lost their furniture and appliances, few lost their cars owing to the flowing floodwaters. Students were left without books but they were glad that their schools had not yet started.
“I’m glad my school has not started but my certificates are all soggy and ruined,” Aravind, a 7th standard student studying at Vidyavardhaka school, said.
The flooding which was witnessed in Hosakerehalli was due to the breach of the nearby Storm Water Drain. In fact, this is not the first time that such an incident has taken place in Hosakerehalli. In 2017, a similar situation had arisen where the Dattatreya temple in the vicinity was completely destroyed.
Just when the temple authorities thought that they could recover from the devastation and took up the restoration work, another disaster struck this year.
“In 2013 we faced a similar situation and thought BBMP would learn their lesson but were proven wrong in 2017 when the situation was grim. The government promised relief but none reached us. The devotees came to our aide and we had begun restoration work but now, again, we’re devastated,” Sri Gaganagurudutta, the head priest of the Dattatreya temple in Hosakerehalli, said.
“I had requested the AEE to not take up the repair work during monsoon as it could the other way. He turned a blind eye and now we’re paying the price again.”
Illegal construction led to the devastation?
Few residents allege that the situation in Hosakerehalli is a result of rampant encroachment of SWDs and lakes. As Hosakerehalli is a revenue belt, many houses were constructed and in the race few building ended up encroaching the drain areas.
“This is not only BBMP’s fault but also few the residents in the vicinity. The drains have been encroached upon thus tapering down the drains which inturn will overflow when there is heavy rains. People need to realise their mistake as well,” said a resident, who did not want to be named.
CM Yediyurappa Visits Hosakerehalli
Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa visited the waterlogged areas of Hosakerehalli along with Revenue Minister R Ashoka and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner Manjunath Prasad. He announced Rs 25,000 as compensation for families who were affected by floods after heavy rainfall.
Additionally, Yediyurappa on Saturday instructed the city civic body to stay alert as the Met department predicted heavy rains for two more days.