Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai today blamed the previous Congress governments’ ‘maladministration’ and unprecedented rains in Bengaluru for the deluge.
He said, despite all odds, his government has taken it up as a challenge to restore the rain battered city, and make sure that such things don’t recur in the future.
Owing to the torrential downpour that lashed the state capital for the last couple of days, several areas are still under water with houses and vehicles partially inundated, there by affecting normal life.
“Karnataka, especially Bengaluru has not received unprecedented heavy rain.. for the last 90 years such rain has not been recorded. All the tanks are full and are overflowing, some of them have breached, and there have been continuous rains, every day it is raining,” Mr Bommai said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said a picture is being portrayed that the entire city is facing difficulties, which is not the case.
“Basically the issue lies in two zones, particularly the Mahadevapura zone for reasons such as presence of 69 tanks in that small area and almost all of them have either breached or are overflowing, secondly, all establishments are in low lying areas, and the third is encroachments,” he listed out.
Noting that his government has taken it as a “challenge”, the Chief Minister said officers, engineers and workers and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams are working 24/7.
“We have cleared lots of encroachments and we will continue to clear them. We are installing sluice gates to the tanks so that they can be managed better. I have instructed officials to ensure that the control room works 24/7. We have started de-watering in most of the areas. Other than one or two areas almost all areas have been de-watered,” he said, adding that rain is not giving respite to work properly as there have been rains every day.
Blaming “maladministration and unplanned administration” of the previous Congress governments for the present misery, Mr Bommai said they had given permissions for construction activities “right-left-centre” in the lake areas, on the tank bunds and buffer zones.
They had never thought of maintaining the lakes, he said.
“Now I have taken it up as a challenge. I have given Rs 1,500 crores for development of storm water drains, I have yesterday released Rs 300 crore to remove all encroachments and do a pucca structure along the storm water drains and for the infrastructure, so that there are no impediments and bottleneck in the flow of water,” he said.
Observing that the TK Halli pump house in Malavalli taluk of Mandya which pumps Cauvery water to Bengaluru is affected due to overflowing Bheemeshwara River and water from the surrounding lakes, the Chief Minister said, two pump houses were affected, flood water is being drained out, but it will take two days to drain out water and to resume work in full capacity.
Alternative plan has been formulated for water supply to Bengaluru, he said. Around 8,000 bore wells are under the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and 4,000 under Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will be activated and they would supply water during the disruption in Cauvery water supply to areas.
Water in tankers will be supplied on behalf of the government to the areas where there are no bore wells, he added. “I request cooperation of people for the next 2-3 days.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)