Chief Minister Siddaramaiah toured the rain-hit areas in the City on Wednesday, listening to public woes, ordering demolition of buildings blocking stormwater drains and instructing officials to draw up a Master Plan.
Siddaramaiah inspected JC Road, Potters' Colony, BMTC Depot at Shanthi Nagar, HSR Layout, Pai Layout and Ramamurthi Nagar. Starting with Chikpet Assembly constituency, he visited the Kumbara Gundi – Potters' Colony – adjacent to the JC Road stormwater drain. Constant flooding here results in water rushing into shops and houses. Water had stood up to a level of minimum of 3 ft causing serious inconvenience to the residents.
The officials explained to the CM that a building constructed during Devraj Urs time is blocking the stormwater drain causing flooding in the area. The garbage and other materials that are brought along the water clogs the drain causing floods every time it rains. Two more private buildings are also constructed behind this building, this has restricted the water flow. Chief Minister instructed the officials to demolish the building after taking necessary precautions.
Siddaramaiah also inspected Shanthi Nagar BMTC bus depot that was flooded damaging 150 buses. The CM said Rs 300 crore grant has been released and a permanent solution must be implemented utilising the funds to tackle flooding of the area. It was found that the capacity of the Raja Kaluve is less and the BMTC depot is situated in the low-lying area.
A canal has been made to release the effluent water from BMTC depot into the Raja Kaluve. But the overflowing water is flowing back into the depot through the canal. Besides, there is no space available to construct an alternate canal said the officials. MLA NA Haris said an alternate canal has to be constructed till Viveknagar. But it looks impossible with the cremation ground next to the depot as it may obstruct the construction of the canal, he complained.
He suggested that the depot authorities should allow the canal to build in their land. At this an irked Urban Development Minister KJ George asked the MLA why he required excess land from the BMTC depot to construct the land when the government has released Rs 15 crore grant for civil works. BMTC chairman Nagaraj Yadav agreed to provide 450 mtrs land on bus depot for construction of canal and Siddaramaiah instructed to provide permanent solution to the problem.
At HSR extension, the CM was flooded with public woes. Residents complained that every rainy season they have problems and demonstrated placard asking if they are living in caves as snakes, scorpions, bandicoots are entering the houses whenever it rains. Sensing trouble, the police took away the placards. But the residents raised slogans saying the drainage civil works are going on since five years, to complete it in their life time. The chief minister instructed BWSSB chairman Tushar Girinath to complete the civil works at the earliest.
The CM inspected also the Pai Layout, Ambedkar Colony in Ramamurthy Nagar. However, throughout his inspection, he was found walking with his covered as he could not bear the stink in the area.
Incidentally, the BMTC bus that carried CM and his team of officials had developed snag twice. In the first bus in which CM left from his home office Krishna, the AC broke down. At Indiranagar, he changed into another bus, but that too broke down due at Ramamurthi Nagara Ambedkar Colony forcing him to take his car. Besides, the chief minister had a taste of traffic snarls on Wednesday when after the inspection of Shanthinagar BMTC depot. As the bus carrying him moved towards HSR Layout, it was caught in a traffic jam at Lalbag for ten minutes. At Tin Factory on outer Ring Road also the CM was caught up in a traffic jam for more than 10 minutes. In some places, ambulances were held up in traffic as the police made signal-free corridor for the CM convoy to move.