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deathly underpasses

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The following is the first person account, narrated to me by a friend, of his, his wife's and his driver's almost having drowned in their car in the flooded underpass, near Pebble Bay apartment complex (Hebbal - check location here), on the morning of the 8th Oct, '13 (Since the friend had been travelling a lot, he could give me the details only last week):

On the morning of 8th October, '13, my wife and I left for the airport at 4:11 am from our house in Dollars Colony. It was raining very heavily and there had been thunder and lightning since 3 am. Our typical route would take us on 1stMain road past Whispering Meadows, where a right turn would slope down parallel to the railway track. We would then make a left turn to cross the railway track using the underpass and then make another left turn to exit toward the ring road.

Even as my driver entered the sloping road he hit the water - the level of the water had risen and we were not aware how much the water had risen on account of the blinding rain. My driver tried to reverse but could not - the water started entering the car as we started to float towards the under pass. Luckily for us, we managed to lower the window and when I put my hand out to open the car door from the outside my hand touched the water. I forced the door open with both hands and got out of the car into neck deep water. Then my wife followed holding her suitcase and we managed to escape from the car - my driver followed thereafter but by then the car was sinking - we abandoned the car there

When I returned, about 6:30 am, I took the photograph by which time the water level had receded somewhat. I could not see any drainage provision alongside the road when I visited the spot again late in the evening.



The fact of the matter is that this is not an isolated incident in the city. Repeatedly we have been reading about underpasses all across the city getting flooded because of poor (if not total lack of) proper drainage provisions. Inspite of it all, the BBMP insists on building more and more of them.

And, it's not just the underpasses, but the entire road infrastructure is in shambles. BBMP's competence has always been in question; now more seriously so.

Muralidhar Rao

Comments

murali772's picture

can they be trusted?

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Repeatedly we have been reading about underpasses all across the city getting flooded because of poor (if not total lack of) proper drainage provisions. Inspite of it all, the BBMP insists on building more and more of them.

This is what I meant.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Exchanges in mail-groups:

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NS: Your friend was lucky to escape with his life. I think this story needs to be told again and again if only because our city planners -- BDA & BBMP persist on inflicting this sorry excuse of an infrastructure solution on our city !

LS: Shocking incident! That car could have sunk in that flooded underpass and drowned everyone inside. If not for this miraculous escape, who should be held responsible for this accident ?! No calling this an 'accident' would be an understatement. More like Culpable Homicide.

Thanks also to the citizens group who relentlessly gets involved in BDA/BBMP infrastructure plans and have the courage to question the questionable ones.


MK: October last year? Did this story along with the photo appear in any paper? Just wondering if it could not be used suitably now. Send to CM, CS or anyone else?

Me: Yes MK - 3 months back. The mainstream media didn't appear to have known about it. And, since I don't expect the situation there or elsewhere has changed any, yes, we need to demand that the BBMP become more accountable.

A split second delay in the response on this friend's part, and the consequences could have been disastrous.

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

What pathetic & incapable

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What pathetic & incapable engineers occupy our civic bodies? They should resign if they are incapable or not being allowed to do their job. They need to be made personally liable for every incident of damage caused due to their negligence & incompetence. 

The mayor comes calling for money but its the commissioner who is respobsible for road maintenance. The BBMP is responsible for the city but half the roads I drive on are owned by BDA or NHAI. When BBMP do end up building anything the water, electricity & utilities are owned by agencies not even under the BBMP so it never get done. RTO puts idiots on the road & traffic police are told to police them.

What a mess nobody has the guts or time to protest against?

srinidhi's picture

pathetic road network

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Not un-common incident  I should say to the main post here..there have been a whole lot of such incidents everytime the sky opens up!

Here is a news article that came up yesterday on how we fare on road networks:

According to the India Mobility Final report by Global Mobility Monitor Network, the road density in Bangalore is only 8.2km per sqkm, almost one-third of the national capital (21.6km per sqkm).

Bangalore's road network, spanning 10,200 km, also falls way behind that of New Delhi's 32,000 km.

more here

Its not just the authorities..its everyone to blame!

abidpqa's picture

Many agencies are at fault

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Many agencies are at fault here, in my opinion main one is BWSSB. The drainage system in the city is in very very bad shape. Many parts of the city is getting flooded including Indiranagar. On the last few day of rainy season, Indiranagar near BDA complex was like a river. The only thing working is Rajakaluve. Most of the drains near the roads are not working, so the water has to flow ON the road for long distances which by the way is destroying roads. Also small connections to working drains from roads are blocked.

It is quite possible it is not only problem of BWSSB, they seem to have given up because first step new projects by influential people seems to be filling up drains around the site and shifting busstops!  The new highlight of the highend project is no drains anywhere in sight.  The concreting roads the new city areas just seems to have overruled BWSSB. The first first step in concreting is filling up the drains with no regards to the consideration of water discharge during rains.  When lakes can be filled without permission, this is nothing.  Basically, the projects are not considering all the constraints and planned in isolation favoring contractors who does not wish to have too much headache of planning, and just somehow overcome objections from many departmets. Seems like we have to live through this for many more years.

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