Exclusive: Bengaluru rains claim its first victim in Koramangala

First Published 5, Sep 2017, 4:54 PM IST
Exclusive Bengaluru rains claim its first victim in Koramangala
Highlights
  • Das, a security guard, died after being drenched in the heavy rains under a shed.
  • He was unable to clear the water from his shed that is built on a storm water drain.
  • He was suffering from asthma and high fever and on Sunday again, heavy rains resulted in flooding of slum homes in Koramangala and his house was affected.
  • Neighbours say, Das was sick and could not move out when the rainwater entered his shed. As a result his fever could not be controlled and he died on September 5.

 

With heavy rains in the last few days lashing the city, the death count now stands at one. In fact, this is just the first known casualty of the continuous rains, there could be many more unreported casualties.

Das is a security guard and an asthma patient. Following the eviction by the government in 2013. Das and his family moved to the roadside next to Koramangala's national games village. Along with Das, there were nearly 100 families, and now only 32 families are residing there. There were births and many deaths reported from here as the poor could not afford hospitalisation and treatment.

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), responsible for providing infrastructure and services in the Greater Bangalore Metropolitan area, bulldozed 1,512 homes in the economically weaker section settlement in Ejipura/ Koramangala from 18–21 January 2013. The four-day demolition drive rendered 5,000 people homeless, including around 1,200 women and 2,000 children.

Das who was guarding Axis Bank in Koramangala could not go to work for the last few days as he had been ill. Every time the rain reached above 30 mm, the storm water drain on which the sheds are built would flood. As he could not move due to old age, he was forced to sleep on the wet cot. Again on Sunday when the heavy rain of about 56 mm lashed the City, his shed flooded. With no shelter, Das continued to stay in his shed. As he could not withstand cold and fever, he suffered a cardiac arrest on Monday night.

Authorities and elected representatives including district in-charge minister KJ George were touring the city to access the damage, but they failed to visit this place as they knew bad situation of slum dwellers in Ejipura slums adjacent to Koramangala.

"The government failed in arranging for transit arrangement before evicting in 2013. And from the last five years, there is no information on handing over of economically weaker section quarters to those evicted.  This is the reason many people are forced to live on the footpath and many have died simply because of infection due to rat bite, mosquito menace and cold,"  said Shantha Mary, a slum dweller.

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