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The Bangalore Floods of 2022

by | Oct 17, 2022 | Daily News, News Article

Floods in metropolitan areas have become a growing concern in major cities in India. It has become an accurate prediction for floods despite 131 mm of rain. While many blame the floods on incessant rains, other factors can contribute to floods and waterlogging in the cities. There are multiple reasons for the current situation of the town, especially the rapid urbanization and foreign investments in India’s IT sector. The article will allow you to get insights into the floods in Bangalore.

Bangalore Floods

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Flood Prone Areas in Metropolitans

Managing flood-prone areas in metropolitans is a challenge, and it is vital first to understand the urban ecology. There is research on urban ecology, risk management, and mitigation in such conditions. A study conducted in various metropolitans has one thing in common, i.e., an increase in urbanization leads to waterlogging and thereby triggers floods. The City’s flooding is easily mitigated when the proper infrastructure is planned and organized. Unfortunately, this is not the case in significant metropolitans in India like Mumbai, Bangalore, and other major cities. This has been discussed among politicians, construction firms, infrastructure management authorities, and more.

Current Situation in Bangalore, Karnataka

The current situation in Bangalore is grim. IMD predicts incessant heavy rainfall in Bangalore from the 5th of September. The current condition worsens in Bangalore, where rain is consistent, and waterlogging has taken over the city. The IT sector, with employees, entrepreneurs, and workers who travel to their workplaces, has been facing difficulties since the roads have been submerged underwater. The Dakshina Pinakini river, which was dry for decades, inundated the adjacent regions during this September rains in Bangalore.

Floods in Bangalore have increased water levels and drowned houses; power outages, jammed bottlenecks, and roadways are blocked, hindering people’s daily lives. Villagers, buildings, and homes are facing difficulties, and people rely on tractors to transport from one place to another. The most affected regions in Bangalore include Yemalur, Rainbow Drive Layout, Sunny Brooks Layout, and Marathahalli.

Who is responsible for these floods?

Well, incessant rains in the city are not the only reason these floods are taking place. There are five possible reasons for the flood which occurred in Bangalore. These include;

1) Poor Interconnectivity among lakes

The growing population in the city has increased waste turnover, and the city’s waste management is poor. This has blocked the connectivity of the lakes. Encroachment causes surface runoff of water.

2) Floodplain Encroachment

Floodplains and wetlands are essential components for groundwater seepage. However, the floodplains and wetlands in Bangalore are encroached upon with construction projects. Additionally, the term dead lakes due to the region’s human activity.

3) Narrowing Storm Water Drains

The width of the drainage systems has been narrowed, reducing its capacity to transport water. This has hindered the natural drains affecting the hydrological drainage system and causing overflows.

4) Concretization

Rapid concretization in the city is dwindling the ground surface, which can seep water into the ground. The pavement area has increased by 94% in 2022, triggering surface runoff of water.

5) Constricted Vegetation Cover

The vegetation cover in the city has been dwindling, which hinders the sand’s ability to stay intact. This makes room for surface runoff of water and triggers waterlogging and floods.

How are people worsening the situation?

The drains constructed in the city were for the sole reason of managing excess water. However, the residents have dumped garbage in these drains, choking them and triggering waterlogging and floods. If the city were left untouched and kept in its natural state, this scenario wouldn’t occur. If the surface were free from pavements, the water would seep into the ground without any issues and prevent runoff. Illegal constructions have fueled the situation, and some even consider it neglect by the city’s municipalities. Besides this, an article published by TOI also highlights that the city council is slow in cleaning the drains and allowing water to drain out.

Root Cause of Bangalore Floods

The Root Cause of floods in Bangalore is rapid urbanization. The concretization of roads has hindered the seepage of water to the ground. This keeps the water suspended on the base and causes waterlogging in areas of depression which triggers flooding: the poorly managed city’s infrastructure, especially the narrowed drains in the city. Therefore, the blame is not focused on one aspect but on multiple elements that cascade and give rise to the current situation.

How do you know if there is a reduction in vegetation cover?

Comparing satellite images of Bangalore city from 1995 to 2022 will quickly notice a considerable decrease in green cover. You can check this on Google Earth by navigating to the historical data and opting for the previous years. The satellite imagery comparison shows the rapidly growing city with skyscrapers, buildings, and urbanization projects like malls.

Bangalore Floods

1995

Bangalore Floods

2022

The satellite imagery comparison at two different dates reveals the dwindling vegetation cover in the city. This increased pavement area, vegetation cover, narrowed drainage system, and more are

What do political leaders have to say about Floods in Bangalore?

The Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai mentioned a plan to mitigate the effects of flooding in Bangalore. He proposed that his government work on the situation to restore a city that is not prone to floods. He further explained that the issue lies in the Mahadevapura zone, with more than 69 tanks. The temporary solution for evacuation and disaster management has been given to the State Disaster Response Force or SDRF. The government has also created some encroachment areas and is proposing plans for ecology restoration in the city.

The Bottom Line

The city’s current state cannot be blamed on nature pouring down rains and creating havoc: rapid urbanization and man-made activities affecting the city. Therefore, despite incessant rains of an average of 131 mm each day, Bangalore struggles to manage excess water. The solution for the city to get a solution for the flood is effective Infrastructure management, ecological restoration, waste management, and exemplary leadership.

 

Author

  • Sigma Earth

    The author has done a master's in Environmental science and is currently working as chief Environmental Advisor with New Delhi State Government.

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