Thursday, June 25, 2009

Get ready for a heavy monsoon - Bangalore - Cities - The Times of India

Get ready for a heavy monsoon - Bangalore - Cities - The Times of India
28 May 2009, 0159 hrs IST, TNN
Bangalore: Pre-monsoon showers and news that the monsoon has just hit the Kerala coast, have triggered the worst fears among
Bangaloreans. It's best to be prepared for more rain than usual, says the Met department.

"There are chances of heavy rain in the first month of the monsoon. The city is likely to receive more than moderate rain,'' Met director A Muthuchami told The Times of India. He explained the impact, "There will be one spell of heavy rain in the next two/three days. And another following it. A week of thunderstorms may follow, to settle down to drizzles for another couple of weeks."

With old pipelines and an underground drainage system that's still under renovation, the BWSSB hopes to redress many of the flooding issues during the monsoon, with 30 additional jetting machines to pump out flooded sewerage waters.

Last year, BWSSB embarked on a massive manhole cleaning drive and covered 60,000 of them. This year, the drive has started again, with workers notching up 30 to 50 manholes a day. "We are trying to speed it up before the monsoon completely sets in,'' a spokesperson for BWSSB said.

One of the major issues BWSSB faces is: in 80% of houses, water stagnating on terraces is let into the underground drainage system (UGD). The UGD has the capacity to manage only waste water. The excess pressure on the system by flooding rain water leads to frequent overflowing of chamber lines.

"We urge all residents to channelise rain water flow from their terraces to a network connected to adjoining storm water drains,'' a BWSSB official said. The Board still considers places like HSR Layout, some parts of old airport areas in HAL vulnerable to floods.

Reacting to fears of sewage water contaminating drinking water supply, he said, "The issue cannot be completely ruled out, considering that they run parallel to each other. In case of UGD, only reactive measures can be taken and not precautionary. We have changed old pipelines in many areas, including Bharathinagar, where we spent Rs 3 crore to change the UGD system, and 90% of the work is complete. We have changed some pipelines in Shivajinagar as well.'' Any floods and the Board hopes to provide immediate remedial measures.

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