Heavy rainfall in Bengaluru on Friday claimed three lives, with the body of a priest being found on Saturday, and efforts on to trace a mother and her teenage daughter who were swept away while trying to escape their water-logged home. A 57-year-old woman and her 22-year-old daughter had fallen into an overflowing stormwater drain. The city civic body along with the NDRF and SDRF have intensified search for them.
On Friday, Vasudev Bhat, 32, a priest at a temple in Kurubarahalli in west Bengaluru, was washed away after he accidentally stepped into a flooded stormwater drain. His body was recovered on Saturday. In the same area on Friday, a couple in their 40s, Shankarappa and Kamalamma, died when the wall of their house collapsed. The video of woman being rescued by bystanders as her car got stuck in the rainwater was shared widely on social media.
The deaths triggered a war of words between the opposition BJP and the ruling Congress. A team of Congress ministers led by CM Siddaramaiah and a group of BJP leaders led by state BJP president B S Yeddyurappa visited the homes of the victims on Saturday.
“The rains have devastated Bengaluru. The municipal authorities are looting the state exchequer. This is the result of neglect. They claim to have spent Rs 4,000 crore on improvement of the city, but there have been leaks,’’ Yeddyurappa said after his visit to the affected areas. He accused Siddaramaiah of “sleeping over the problems of the city”.
Siddaramaiah said, “Nobody should indulge in politics over deaths. BJP leaders have made false allegations with the aim of making political gains.” “This year there have been heavy rains and so the drains are overflowing. I am pained by the unfortunate deaths,’’ he added.
While Bengaluru received rainfall in the range of 34 mm on Friday night, some parts of the city in the west recorded as much as 89 mm and 90 mm of rainfall. The state government announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the families of the victims while the BJP has offered compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased. PTI INPUTS