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Coronavirus delays monsoon civic work, but BBMP’s optimistic

Several civic body officials ET spoke to said this time around, coordination meetings with various agencies like the BBMP, Bescom, BWSSB, police and the forest wing started only towards the end of May when the lockdown was eased. But they said the late start wouldn’t hurt the city’s preparedness.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jun 03, 2020, 10.52 AM IST
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monsoon
Senior officials said the BBMP’s efforts to identify flood-prone areas over the last two years had come to their aid.
BENGALURU: The Bengaluru city administration begins its monsoon preparation every year in March, but this time it started quite late.

With the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials and workers channelising much of their focus and energy on the unprecedented situation due to Covid-19, rain preparations took a backseat.

Several civic body officials ET spoke to said this time around, coordination meetings with various agencies like the BBMP, Bescom, BWSSB, police and the forest wing started only towards the end of May when the lockdown was eased. But they said the late start wouldn’t hurt the city’s preparedness.

“A large number of staff were busy on the ground coordinating various relief and planning work and rain preparedness was not the priority. Also, meetings did not happen because of lockdown orders in place,” said a revenue officer in Jayanagar.

An executive engineer in the Mahadevapura zone said this monsoon they had very little time to get the work done. “Desilting and deweeding storm water drains and shoulder drains and trimming down trees are crucial before the monsoon. We began coordination and got into doing monsoon-related work after May 20. Time was short. We are now attending to rain preparation works,” the executive engineer said.

Senior officials said the BBMP’s efforts to identify flood-prone areas over the last two years had come to their aid. “The BBMP, along with Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) scientists, has identified 210 flood-prone areas in eight zones of the city. This database has helped us quickly get into action and give special attention to vulnerable areas,” said Dasarahalli zone joint commissioner Narasimhamurthy.

State revenue minister R Ashoka, who reviewed the city’s monsoon preparedness on Monday, said KSNDMC scientists had installed 21 sensors at storm water drains (SWDs) to send an alarm if the water level went above 75% of an SWD’s actual capacity. “BBMP control rooms will get the alert and rescue teams will be sent,” he said.

Since road repair work too took a backseat over the last two months, chief minister BS Yediyurappa in a meeting to assess the rain preparedness last week directed the BBMP commissioner to ensure all roads were asphalted before the monsoon sets in.
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