Flooded roads and broken sidewalks in the Manhattan of Bangalore

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In Yeshwanthpur, on the Pipeline Road running parallel to NH4, there is at a junction less than 50 metres to the left of the rear entrance of Golden Grand, where the construction of a mall, multiplex and the city’s tallest residential tower is underway. In this area, widely publicised as the “Manhattan of Bangalore”, residents are witness to a common sight; two-wheeler riders plodding through knee-deep water, struggling to maintain a firm foothold on the slippery slush. Even as they pull out their vehicles out of one of the many deep potholes concealed under flood waters, the flat bass sound of engines whose exhausts are choked with water, rings through the air. This happens every time it rains.

After a heavy shower, when water floods the entire width of the road, the inability to spot the missing slabs on the sidewalk on either side of the road, makes even walking a dangerous feat. Residents in the area,  heading back home from Malleshwaram, Yeshwanthpur or Rajkumar Road, often have to take the longer route around the Ring Road signal to enter the road from the other end.

In the mornings after a heavy downpour, the women in small houses on the narrow lane adjoining the National Public School grounds, pour out buckets of water from their flooded homes for hours. Meanwhile, their young children splash around and play in their living rooms, waist-deep in brown, smelly water.

Many times the garbage carried out of the gutters by the flood is left scattered on the road as the water recedes.  Even after a week of dry weather and sunshine, slush and stagnant puddles remain in the huge potholes, many of which cover the entire width of the road. Mosquitoes too have rapidly increased in this area over the past two years.

Association members of Mythri Apartments and Trinetra Retreat wrote letters to the BBMP and the corporator, detailing their problems, but this was in vain. They finally contacted the MLA of Raja Rajeshwari Nagar ward, Munirathna Naidu, under whose jurisdiction this area is placed. He visited the area and ensured that he was doing his best to get the problem fixed. The raja naale, the main drain for flood waters, he said, had been blocked during the construction of the two apartments (it was in fact completed 8 years ago).   He also added that the road could be fixed only after the rainy season, but promised to get it patched up temporarily within ten days. That was four months ago.  

In the last week of August 2014, after repeated outcries from the residents, when the junction had become almost completely unusable even in dry weather, bulldozers were brought in to fill up the potholes with stones and mud. Given the frequent movement of heavy vehicles on the road, this did not hold out for even two rainless weeks.

Once again, on November 1st, heaps of packed mud and stones were filled into the huge potholes. Trucks and school buses which frequent the road, flattened the mounds, leaving the potholes tightly stuffed. It is only until the next few rains, that this will remain. Once it rains again, this primitive dressing will be washed away, leaving behind the carcass of what was once a road, bare again.

Then months will pass and the residents will write more complaints, before the concerned authorities respond with another generous offering of mud and stones yet again.

About Pavan Kulkarni 22 Articles
Pavan Kulkarni was associated with Citizen Matters as a staff journalist.

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