These residents do not want rain in Bengaluru


Pramita Sarkar
Bengaluru: There is one locality in Namma City Bengaluru where
residents pray God not to bless Garden City with rain whether it is
summer or monsoon.
It is not that they are averse to rain but were not able to cope with
the misery that accompanies with rain. These are the residents of
Koramangala 4 th Block in south-east Bengaluru.
It is not that they do not have the time to form an association that
is expected to be a forum to highlight the civic problems in that
area. They have formed Koramangala 4 th Block Residents’

Welfare Association (K4BRWA). It has been trying its best to
narrow the bridge between the residents and the Bruhat
Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) authorities. The more it
tries to create awareness among the BBMP authorities about the
infrastructure-related problems the more the latter becomes
apathetic and negligent.
For example, the K4BRWA has been corresponding with the
BBMP authorities since November 12, 2010 seeking their
attention towards the civic problems, especially drain-related
issues. Though the K4BRWA wrote 14 letters requesting the
BBMP authorities to fix the civic problems in the area but the latter
are yet to awake from their deep slumber.
The apathy of the authorities concerned has disappointed the
residents to the extent of cursing themselves for constructing their
dream homes at Koramangala 4 th Block.
The recent rain, that has missed a record since 1986 by a few
millimetres, has made the residents’ lives miserable. There are
3,000 buildings in Koramangala 4 th Block and among them,
around 100 buildings were affected. While some of them were
inundated with rain water, others were flooded with stinky sewage
water thus making it tough for the residents. Many of them ended
up either in draining out the rain water from their homes or taking
preventive measures like putting sandbags in front of their homes.
“I have to fill sanitary pipes with gunny bags to prevent sewage
water from the nearby storm water drain entering my home. The
storm water drain either gets choked or overflow whenever it rains
heavily. I have been doing this for the last eight years,’’ said U.
Govinda Rao, a retired police officer and resident of 5 th Cross,
Koramangala 4 th Block.

A few of the owners, unable to bear the stench and misery
whenever rain water enters their homes, have shifted to safer
places. Some owners, who depend on rent for survival, are not
able to find tenants due to the prevailing condition during
“I have incurred a huge loss due to flooding of my house. My
motorcycle and furniture were damaged when rain water entered
my house. The water level was up to waist level in my house. It
took me three to four days to clean the house,’’ complains Rao.
Water sumps
The residents face a peculiar problem during the monsoon in this
locality. The hardship is to ensure water sumps free from sewage
and dirty water. “Many of us paid thousands of rupees to private
agencies to clean water sumps. We end up engaging people to
clean water sumps on weekly basis during monsoon,’’ said P.K.
Cherian, general secretary, K4BRWA.
The committee members of K4BRWA have complained about the
poor condition of the drains in the locality. They said the BBMP
authorities have not taken measures to mitigate problems here.
“It is not that we have not approached elected representatives.
Our MLA is Ramalinga Reddy who is minister for home. He got
elected twice from this constituency. He has been assuring us
permanent measures to fix the problems but till now nothing has
been done. Now, he is telling that Rs 3.50 crore has been
sanctioned to take up the drain work but we do not know when
the work will begin,’’ said G.M. Shetty, president, K4BRWA.

Though most of the residents are peace loving citizens, some of
them want to stage protest at Sony Junction on Inner Ring Road
to draw attention of the authorities concerned.
“I have constructed my house 10 years ago. I am maintaining a
clinic here. It has become difficult for me to open the clinic
whenever it rains heavily. The entire stretch of 5 th Cross will look
like a flood affected area. I am ready to participate in the protest.
What can the authorities do to me? They can put me in the prison
for a day or two. I am fed up with the problems here. The elected
representatives promise us moon but deliver nothing,’’ opines Dr.
Zafar Mumtaz.
The residents, having lost electrical equipment, furniture and
vehicles to the deluge, decided to collectively seek compensation
from the BBMP.
"Mostly, furniture and vehicles were damaged. Since insurance
only covered a portion of the repair work, we had to pay the rest
from our pockets," said G M Shetty.

The first list, submitted to the Palike in the last week of August,
contained details of over 52 residents. The second one, submitted
on September 27, had details of another 33 houseowners.
"Most residents have included bills and photographs to back up
their claims. The amounts claimed is between Rs 20,000 and Rs
50,000, with some claims going up to a few lakhs. The average is
around Rs 50,000," said Shetty, who too has sought a
compensation of Rs 70,000.

Following the thunderstorm on August 15, which left most of the
city inundated, former mayor G Padmavathi had said the BBMP
would provide compensation to damaged houses after a survey
by the revenue department to check the claim.
Shetty says the ward revenue officer is processing the file and
that the inspection and survey is yet to take place. "We cannot
keep all the damaged items in our house for so long. Most have
already junked the ruined furniture," he added.

`Will compensate after survey'
"If houses or personal belongings have been damaged due to
rain, the revenue department will assess the damage and submit
a report, based on which we will compensate the concerned
individuals," said BBMP commissioner N Manjunath Prasad,
adding that over 70 families living near JC Road have y been
given compensation of Rs 3,500 each. "As per Natural Disaster
Relief Fund norms, the compensation ranges from Rs 2,000-Rs
5,000, but we'll consider things on a case-by- case basis. In this
case, we will go through the claims, survey the damage and only
then provide relief," he said.
I empathise with victims: Corporator
Meanwhile, Chandrappa, corporator, Koramangala ward has
expressed grief and anguish over the residents’ misery. “It pained
me. I have taken measures to commence the work on the storm
water drain as early as possible. The BBMP engineers have
completed the survey work,’’ Chandrappa said.

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