Clearance of encroachments over drains to resume: Dr G Parameswhar

Bengaluru: Deputy Chief Minister Dr G Parameswhar has said that the government would resume clearing of encroachment on storm water drains to avoid flooding during monsoon. The clearance work was stopped as the model code of conduct had come into effect.

After holding a meeting with the BBMP top brass he told reporters on Wednesday that Election Commission would not allow demolition during polls as the voters would get displaced.

The BBMP had identified encroachment to the tune of 1950 km and so far about 450 km had been cleared. The BBMP had done mapping of such encroachment and priority would be given to the places prone to flooding. The work of de-silting of storm water drain would also be taken up, he said.

The BBMP had identified over 246 low lying area, which are prone to flooding, and the civic authority has taken up clearing of drains. Even if the drain gets clogged, arrangements will be made to pump out the water, he said.

To manage flooding during monsoon, officers have been appointed in all eight divisions and 63 sub divisions. The officials would work in three shifts. Besides, 21 teams were looking at dry and dead trees, which are likely to fall during monsoon, he said.

Garbage clearance: Expressing dissatisfaction over the work done by present garbage clearance contractors, Dr Parameshwar said the government would float global tender in 15 days for the purpose.

Drinking water: Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Krishna Byregowda said the government had formed task forces to provide drinking water to people during summer.

After meeting the Chief Secretary and other officials, Mr Byregowda told reporters that 176 taluks in the State have been declared as drought affected.

The elections commission had agreed to float tenders after April 23 for this purpose and the process had been initiated on war footing. In worst hit taluks, short term tenders had been floated to dig one or two borewells per taluk.

DCs have been permitted to use NDRF/SDRF or Gram Panchayat funds for this purpose, he added.

Besides, 74 lakes across the city have been rejuvenated. Desilting has been completed in 19 lakes and the work is in under progress at 31 lakes, he informed.

He chided officials who are in-charge of lakes for failing to desilt and rejuvenate the water bodies. He said the lakes have not been cleaned up for the last 12 years.

BBMP officials have not bothered to prepare an action plan to desilt the lake, he remarked.

During monsoon layouts and residential areas get waterlogged because the drains and lakes were not desilted.

Every year the city faces flooding, but officials have been lethargic in finding a solution, he charged.

Tree fall incidents: Dr Parameshwar was upset over total lack of coordination between forest and BBMP horticulture dept and blamed their apathy for tree fall incidents during monsoon.

Why is the forest department and BBMP horticulture department is there for, he questioned. Many innocent people are dying, public and private properties are getting damaged during pre-monsoon every year, but no measures have been taken to maintain the trees and trim them periodically. Henceforth, forest department officials would be held  responsible for any loss of life due to tree fall, the minister warned.

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