More than 350 houses and several streets in Bengaluru were left inundated after a lake flowing within city limits breached Sunday afternoon. At least 193 people have been rescued so far by two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) deployed in the area.
Residents of Krishna Layout, Avani Sringeri Nagar, DLF Road, Royal Residency Layout, Saraswathipura, BTM Layout 4th Stage, and surrounding areas had water gushing into their compounds, as many took to Twitter to call out for help from the authorities. The lake’s tank bund collapsed at Krishna Layout, near Meenakshi Mall in Bannerghatta Road, BBMP officials confirmed.
— Shetty Kiran (@Indiankh) November 24, 2019
Officials, including BBMP Commissioner BH Anil Kumar, Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao, and Mayor M Goutham Kumar, rushed to the spot, taking measures for evacuation and to fill the lake-bund.
Mayor Kumar told indianexpress.com that the incident took place after the embankment of the lake was damaged by an earthmover. “Some people were allegedly trying to lay a pipe when the lake-bund was damaged, reportedly due to to the carelessness of a JCB driver. BBMP will investigate the matter,” he said.
BBMP officials told indianexpress.com that an initial survey of the affected places indicated some areas were flooded from 2 to 5 feet. “The Quick Response Team (QRT) of Karnataka civil defence corps was called in first. Rescue operations began in the afternoon itself with rescue boats, de-watering floating pumps, life jackets, floating stretchers, first aid kits, and other necessary equipment. While the QRT saved 193 people including two infants, teams from NDRF, and Fire and Emergency Services also carried out independent operations,” the officials said.
BBMP officials arranged temporary shelter for people evacuated from inundated areas surrounding the lake. “Lake-bund filled, no loss of lives, 193 people rescued, situation under control,” BBMP officials confirmed.
The officials further said tens of pumps were brought in flush out water from basements of residential complexes, as efforts by a team of BBMP engineers to plug the breach were underway.
Meanwhile, citizen activists raised their concern on the issue, demanding legal action against the perpetrators, including officials of the local civic body.
“Hon’ble Lokayukta/Hon’ble High Court should take Suo Motu Cognizance & punish both officials & contractor responsible for this incident – pay for all the losses including reconstruction of lake bund,” N R Suresh, a citizen activist wrote on Twitter.
Hon’ble Lokayukta/Hon’ble High Court should take Suo Motu Cognizance & punish both officials & contractor responsible for this incident – pay for all the losses including reconstruction of lake bund#BengaluruDemands @prajavani @thenewsminute @DeccanHerald @TOIBengaluru pic.twitter.com/Hpp5eXMlQT
— Suresh NR 🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳 (@sureshnr) November 24, 2019
It can be recalled that Doddaabidarakallu lake in Nagasandra, off Tumakuru Road in north Bengaluru, breached its capacity after heavy rainfall earlier in October this year. Rainwater had then entered stormwater drains and even some houses in low-lying areas.