India's Silicon Valley is being inundated by unprecedented rainfall and by the tears of commoners who are suffering from massive disruption and dismay. As they are moving on tractors and earthmovers to their jobs and to elsewhere, they are yet to see full-fledged flood mitigation as the political parties are passing the ball on the rival's court over the water logging.
As the sequel of the severe rainfall, the Bangaloreans are pushed to encounter a massive disruption in availing the essential needs like water. With major water stations flooded, the water transport and supply got a drastic hit while major roads are blanketed by the floods. The visuals from the city display the nightmare that the residents are going through and several cities and states have reduced their regular line of transport to the city.
The city has recorded heavy rainfall for the first time in nine decades. In the wake of severe waterlogging in the city, most of the IT employees are hopping on tractors to travel to their offices, a tragic event in India's silicon valley. According to reports, Yemalur, which sits near HAL airport, was submerged due to which the IT professionals residing in the area rode on the tractors to their offices, as several companies kept their business running in the midst of collective suffering.
Speaking to ANI, a woman employee of an IT firm said, "We cannot take so many leaves from our office, our work is getting affected. We are waiting for tractors to drop us for Rs 50." The visuals of their unimagined journey have been going viral on social media, which further poured more light on the ground reality in Bangalore.
The vulnerable roads and basements across the city were completely covered by the floods and the condition was similar in many apartments with underground parking. Several areas remain waterlogged for the past few days and residents are pushed to pump out the water on their own. A local said, "It rained heavily. We saw waterlogging had started after we woke in the morning. The divider on the road was almost submerged due to waterlogging. My basement was flooded and I had to pump water out of it."
The havoc was severe in some areas where the help can't be reached without disruptions. Another local said to the media, "This happens every year, waterlogging takes place after the rain and we have to pump out water. There is no permanent solution. When the road was being made, the drainage system wasn't prepared well. It leads to many difficulties for the public, many women have actually slipped and fallen into the water."
The chief of Bangalore-based biopharmaceuticals company, Biocon, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said it's devastating and unprecedented. Bengaluru has never faced flooding at such a scale. With the visuals and reports, Bangaloreans had enough suffering but they are warned that they may face more disruption as heavy rainfalls were predicted for the next three days.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that heavy rains are expected in Karnataka till Friday - September 9. As heavy rains are lashing out Bangalore since Sunday, the weather watchdog has given a yellow warning for the districts of Kodagu, Shivamogga, Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, and Chikmagalur between September 5 to 9.
Several social media users express their fury over the lack of proper mitigation measures by the local administration. A user shared the inundated images of Bangalore on Twitter and wrote, "Who needs a wonderla, a water amusement park when entire Bangalore can be a water park! Thanks to BBMP, it takes lot of efforts and dedication to turn a city into a floating city."
The political game:
In the midst of witnessing the worst times, the rivals BJP and Congress have found time to play their political game blaming each other for how Bangalore is today. On Tuesday, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai accused the previous Congress government in the state of the current situation in the city. Speaking to the reporters, Bommai said, "Karnataka especially Bengaluru has received unprecedented rains. This kind of rain has not come in the last 90 years. All the tanks are full and they are overflowing. There is continuous rain."
He further said, "The entire Bengaluru is not in problem. The problem is in two zones, particularly Mahadevapura. The condition of Mahadevapura is because of 69 tanks in the small area. All are overflowing." By blaming the previous Congress government, Bommai stated, "This happened because of maladministration and totally unplanned administration of the previous Congress government. This is the result of the bad administration of the Congress government. They never thought of maintaining the lakes. They gave permission right, left, and centre in the lakes and buffer zones."
Bommai affirmed that his administration has been working round the clock to address the waterlogging crisis in the city. He stated that the control rooms have been installed to resolve issues. He vowed that his government has taken it as a challenge. "Our officers, engineers, workers, and SDRF team are working 24/7. We have cleared a lot of encroachments. And we will continue to clear them. We are putting sluice gates at the tanks so that tanks can be well managed", he added.
He further said, "We have given Rs 1,500 crore for draining of water in Bengaluru while another Rs 300 crore has been given to remove encroachments. We will ensure that in future there is no impediment to the flow of water." While Bommai has sought financial assistance from the Centre, he assured IT companies about a discussion on the estimated loss of Rs 225 crore due to rain and waterlogging in Bengaluru. He said that he would call and discuss the damages and compensation borne by them due to rain and waterlogging.
On the other hand, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala on Monday wrote on Twitter, "Bommai Govt is a huge embarrassment in the name of governance. Tractors are the only plausible mode of transport as water submerged cars, entered houses & buildings and made life hell for residents. 40% Commission Sarkar has destroyed pre-eminence of the city." In another tweet, he wrote, "Time to purge the failed BJP Govt to save the submerged city."
Karnataka Congress Chief DK Shivakumar tweeted, "Has the BJP government, which boasted of making Bengaluru a world-class city with modern amenities, forgotten that now? Who built poor infrastructure in a world-class city?". Notably, several Tweeple are slamming BJP MP Tejasvi Surya for posing a photo while having his breakfast on Monday. A Twitter user wrote, "Tejasvi Surya was enjoying a good breakfast while Bangalore was drowning. Has he visited even a single flood-affected region?."
Thank you for a warm welcome #Bengaluru and @BBMPCOMM— DID intern ⚛️ (@bhushan_vikram) September 5, 2022
I took an Uber 📱🚖 then a Tractor 🚜 and then a dirt motorcycle to reach office.
Sharing some amazing experience with you all pic.twitter.com/9JHkmo33a7
#WATCH | Karnataka: Roads in Bengaluru remain inundated as rainwater is yet to recede after yesterday's rainfall. Visuals from Sarjapur road pic.twitter.com/71ikqxbNIJ— ANI (@ANI) September 6, 2022
Karnataka | NDRF deployed to rescue people from an inundated residential society in Bengaluru— ANI (@ANI) September 6, 2022
We have deployed 2 NDRF teams. SDRF, Fire service is also carrying out rescue operations. BBPM is also using tractors to evacuate people: J Senthil Kumar, Asst Commandant, Bengaluru pic.twitter.com/RRciiBHGLc