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          Muck washes away Hosakerehalli's festive celebrations

          In flooded Hosakerehalli, muck washes away festive celebrations

          Repeated flooding in and around RR Nagar during every rainfall exposes the shoddy rain preparedness of the civic body

          Residents shift a refrigerator out of a waterlogged home in Hosakerehalli, Bengaluru, on Saturday. DH PHOTO/IRSHAD MAHAMMAD

          Hundreds of families in Hosakerehalli, South Bengaluru, were on the streets on Saturday, a day after?floodwater entered their homes following a breach in a?nearby?stormwater drain.?

          Torrential rains over the past week, coupled with shoddy construction, caused a breach in the drain on Friday night. Sewage water entered over 300 houses in Gurudatta Layout and Dattatreya Nagar, damaging furniture, electrical appliances?and utensils and making the dwellings unlivable.?

          Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and Revenue Minister R Ashoka visited the affected areas and listened to anguished residents who questioned the failure of the civic agencies to provide infrastructure.?“Why should we suffer every year because some government agency failed to do its job? No official cared to respond to our complaints,” a resident said.?

          Officials fear the damage is bigger and estimate that more than 500 houses have been affected.?“As per our initial estimates,?300 houses were affected in Gurudatta Layout and Dattatreya Nagar. Detailed assessments are ongoing in these areas as well as in the surrounding BEML Layout and Pramod Layout. We expect the number to cross 500,” a senior official said.?There was no sign of festive celebration in the area as families spent Saturday pumping out sewage water?and removing?the silt. Streets once again turned slurry, and?excavators had to wait until the evening before starting their operations.?

          The official said?excavators could remove the silt and mud from the area only after the earth solidified. “We are taking steps to ensure the heavy rain forecast for the next two days will not worsen the situation,” the official said.?

          Authorities distributed 1,500 food packets and water among residents as there was no power supply in many homes or their kitchens were just unusable. Officials have promised the supplies until Monday.

          BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad, however, attributed the havoc to copious rainfall in a short period, leading to increased?load on the stormwater drain network from Nayandahalli to RR Nagar. “The work to upgrade?the?three-kilometre-long?drain began six months ago and will be completed soon,” he said. He said NDRF and civil defence personnel had helped save three people during Friday night’s rain.?

          Prasad said officials would conduct a?door-to-door survey and prepare a detailed report of the damages caused by the flooding. “We are ready to provide temporary refuge to the affected families but most of them are unwilling to move out and want?us to clean their homes,” he said.?