Heavy rains breach lake, flood homes in north Bengaluru
Heavy rains breached the corner bund of Doddabidarakallu lake, leading to overflow and inundation of about 500 houses, early on Thursday morning. Residents of Bhavani Nagar, Annapurneshwari Layout, Anandappa Layout and Muneshwara Layout were horrified as water levels rose up to almost six feet. Power cuts worsened the situation, leaving residents groping in the dark for their belongings.
The lake bund was breached at about 2 am, as it received a huge volume of water from a stormwater drain (SWD) upstream. Police came to the spot at about 3 am with a Quick Response Team as well as fire and emergency service personnel.
Mayor M Goutham Kumar and senior BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike) officials inspected the area on Thursday morning. BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar said the Palike had provided food and shelter to the affected families. BBMP personnel are taking steps to clear the area of slush. Mayor and Commissioner directed local officials to assess the damage, and promised compensation to the residents.
A senior BBMP engineer said the bund had breached at a point where the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) was laying pipelines to direct sewage away from the lake and into a treatment plant. The pipeline is believed to have loosened the bund. But BWSSB has denied this.
The lake is supposed to be under BBMP’s jurisdiction, but the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had not handed it over despite the state government’s directions, said BBMP Deputy Conservator of Forests (Lakes), Jagannath Rao.
While Doddabidarakallu had got 110 mm of rainfall, other areas of north Bengaluru were affected too on Wednesday night, with Chikkabidarakallu, Bagalagunte, Peenya and Dasarahalli receiving over 100 mm rain.
Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald | Bangalore Mirror
Trial run of priority bus lane project
Trial run of the city’s priority bus lane project will start on October 20th on the Silk Board-SV Road stretch of Outer Ring Road (ORR). The trial would help assess and solve problems on the ground, said BMTC Managing Director C Shikha, at the first public consultation on the project on Wednesday.
At present, BMTC operates 768 buses on ORR, with 6596 trips everyday, serving almost 3.5 lakh commuters. BMTC officials said that once the 20-km priority lane here became operational, daily ridership would increase by nearly 1.5 lakh. It would also increase the average speed of a bus from 7-10 kmph during peak hours to nearly 25 kmph.
Full-fledged operations of priority lanes are to start on November 1st, with the introduction of 45 more buses on the roads.
At the public consultation, the BMTC said it had proposed to the state government to introduce congestion pricing at the city’s high-density corridors. BMTC says that congestion pricing – that is, charges levied on private vehicles that enter high-density corridors – would disincentivise private vehicle use.
Source: The Hindu | The Times of India
BBMP assures HC of starting tree census in a month
The BBMP gave an undertaking to Karnataka High Court that it would begin tree census within another month through the Institute of Wood Science and Technology (IWST), a wing of the central government’s Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education. IWST has said that the census would cost BBMP Rs 4 crore.
BBMP made the submission after the court warned of contempt proceedings against every member of the Tree Authority of Bengaluru district and the Tree Officer for not complying with its August directive to start the census in two weeks. The court has been slamming the BBMP for not taking up tree census in the city for 43 years though the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976, mandates it.
BBMP was responding to a bench that was hearing a public interest petition, filed by Dattatreya Devare and Bengaluru Environmental Trust, that challenged tree-cutting for development works.
Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald
Pedestrian deaths make up 30% of road accident fatalities
In a recent survey by the city police on road safety, it was found that jaywalking, lack of pavements, and blind spots caused by Metro pillars were leading to road accidents involving pedestrians. On an average, pedestrian deaths comprised 30 percent of road accident fatalities, said B R Ravikanthe Gowda, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic).
In 2016, more than 300 pedestrians were killed in the city. The number of fatalities came down by 13.75 percent last year. Still, the figures are high given that the deaths could have been avoided if the city had good pavements, said senior traffic officials.
Till August this year, 171 pedestrians were killed in road accidents, and 792 were injured.
Source: The Hindu
[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]