April 24, 2011

TRAGIC INCIDENT- THREE DIFFERENT SITUATIONS AND ONE CAUSE


Friday last, it rained  heavily. So heavily that it was over 100 mm in just a few hours. When the average rainfall per annum in Bengalooru being 900 mm, this 100mm downpour in a couple of hours, virtually opened up the skies and obviously resulted in many difficulties for the people. The low lying areas, and the places where the passage of major drains are usurped by residents themselves, have their problems augmented by notches.

It was 6 00 am when I left home to Domlur yesterday where there are many such low lying areas. Clogged drains brimming with sewage water had inundated the houses of  those hapless people. Local corporator smt Geeta Srinivasa Reddy accompanied me, and so also the team from BWSSB, BBMP and the fire force. That was a pathetic state of affairs. I pepped up BBMP, Fireforce, BWSSB... workers to hurry up and clear the sewage water out of the place. Another Corporator Mr Gowtham Kumar took me to his area, Jogupalya where the UGD system had developed complications. It was an immediate decision and immediate steps to contain the problem. I ensured the officers drew plans for permanent solutions immediately. It was over six hours in these areas, that I spent yesterday.

The immediate afternoon, I was informed that the age old wall belonging to Chitrakala parishat on Kumara krupa road had come down and the neighboring old age home has been victimized by the falling wall. I reached the spot immediately with the BBMP engineers and got started the relief work.

Again in the evening, a new 3 floor building under construction had caved in at Ramachandrapuram, near Okalipuram .When I reached there the local MLA Mr Dinesh Gundu Rao was also there. The builder for the reasons best known only to him had put up 2 new floors over an age old ground floor building, which was absolutely wrong and had resulted in this collapse. Fortunately, no life was lost.

As I have been making it a routine to attend complaints at BWSSB call centre in a bid to instill some seriousness in its working, I was at BWSSB call centre (control room) yesterday too and sat there for over forty-five minutes monitoring the complaints.By then it had already started raining heavily.

It was around 6 40 pm when I came to know about the collapse of the compound adjacent to Freedom Park. Rushed there. Learnt that over 8 cars were beneath the rubble. Rescue operation was on. The huge gathering was a hindrance to the operation. Police were pushing the onlookers away, but the crowd was jostling forward to have a look at the scene.

While I was instructing officers, one person rushed to me anxiously to disclose that his Engineer Friend was inside the car beneath and till few minutes back he was responding to the mobile calls, but now it had stopped too. He was his eyes full of  tears, and asking innocently if  his friend could still be alive. Oh! I was struck by his agonized pleadings. Just when I asked the rescue operations to be braced up, the top of the car was cut open by the operators and there, his Engineer friend was sitting in the driver seat, BUT, dead. This friend was inconsolable, and it moved me. When the body was lifted from the driver's seat I could not bear the sight and moved to the periphery.

Immediately a lady came running, crying all the way loudly. I really thought that she should be the relative of the demised engineer. NO. SHE WAS N'T. Her anguish was because; her newly purchased car through her hard earnings was under the rubble fully damaged. She was uncontrollable too. I tried to console her saying, that she can purchase a new car as she can get insurance help whereas the dead engineer will not come back and how relatively lucky she was. But that could not console her anyway. She continued with her sobbing. Yes, one can understand her agony as she had purchased the car after lot of savings as she had dreamt for it long. But her crushed car was all the more important thing than any thing else for her  including the tragic death next to her.

Again in the meanwhile, another person came rushing to me to complain that in front of his shop/office that is a situated on the other side of the mishap spot there is a lot of silt in the drain to be cleared immediately. His grouse was that the Corporation gang men were fully drunk and refusing to clear the drain. I told him that it will be attended to immediately after clearing the rubble to see if any more persons are beneath. To my utter surprise, he was saying clearing the rubble might be done later after his complaint is attended. No logic, no reasoning could convince him. He went away in a huff.

Yes. For that friend, who lost his chum,  that was the heart rendering moment. For that lady, the new car under rubble made her genuinely cry. For the shop owner, that was an opportunity to get his things done, come what may.

That is life. 

However, the civic authorities cannot shirk. The sheer negligence or show of irresponsibility should stop now. The late little Sanjana could not wake us up. Prakash, the demised Engineer is now trying. These things should not continue any longer with the same infamous complacent attitude, which has resulted in many inhuman tragedies. I will start the correction process immediately for sure.

S SURESHKUMAR 

8 comments:

harrish said...

Dear Sir, we sincerely appreciate your efforts towards the public grievance let all of your colleagues follow your foot steps and take up you sir as their role model...

praneshachar said...

great job and putting it across thro the blog of yours is commendable. rushing to the freedompark at that hour shows your committment for the cause keep going sir need of the hour is humanity and worry for the lives hats off and u must set example for all the people both in politics and administration

Anonymous said...

The wall after all was constructed recently. If it can fall it simply reflects the quality of construction. Unless the elected representatives and officers are made responsible for the quality , this will continue. Its the same story year after year. With the altitude of Bangalore, to see it is flooding is a sad reflection of planning-how natural drainage pattern is blocked. Instead of doing cosmetic changes to bangalore why don't you please ensure that the money is well spent on improving the drainage pattern. You are the only honest and concerned minister who can bring in some change.
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Anonymous said...

You are a leader now in seva, hope to see this as a habit for the rest.

CM Reddy said...

Sir,
My car went under the water in front of Isckon temple. I guess because of Metro construction work, the flooding water had no vent out, so it was clogging. Though I had a tough time getting my car out of the water. I felt, people lack common sense, it is absurd to blame govenment and departments for everything. that day, 3 auto drivers who were agressive, drove the vehicles right to the point where they couldn't move any further. Ironically, all three in their zeal to overtake others, got struck and blocked the whole road. The most insensitive thing they did was , they were casual about the blockage they had created for the rest of the vehicles. they didn't move out of their autos to push them to a side, so that the other powerful vehicles coule still go out. After some serious shouting, they tried pushing their autos. By then i had more than a feet of water in my car, am sure same with the others there. if they had acted sensibly, there would not have been any problem there that day. But, i am sure there were lot of cars got under the water there.

So, i feel , pls use media nad create awareness among the drivers on Do's and Dont's when there is heavy downpour and water clogging.

regards
cm reddy

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Pradeep Kanthan said...

Appreciate your blog and your concerns as a politician. I will need to study what are the issues and policy changes are taking place in Karnataka.

Have you considered giving municipal councillors, and non elected staff at the municipal level to visit other countries/sister cities to educate themselves on current methodologies in civic development. They are at the coal face of maintaining the city and maybe more exposure at that level will help.

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Just a thought.

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