Bengaluru city's flooding and traffic woes will be addressed in a multi-pronged strategy, Mayor Sampath Raj said, as International Business Times caught up with him for a chat on rising civic concerns over gaps in urban infrastructure.
The mayor said the civic body is tackling the rampant flooding that affected parts of the city in the recent weeks, adding that the city council will ensure better infrastructure.
"The city witnessed the highest rainfall in 60 years, unpredicted by anyone," the mayor said in The Talk with Danish Manzoor. He added that the rise in encroachments is also the reason for routine floods in several areas in the city. When questioned how encroachments could happen right under the Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike's (BBMP) nose, Raj said the illegal activity has been going on for decades. He said the city is now witnessing the cumulative effect of years of neglect.
When it was pointed out that the roads are in a poor state despite BBMP spending around Rs 8,000 crore annually, the mayor said it was the current chief minister Siddaramaiah who allocated Rs 7,000 crore for the civic body.
He said the civic body is taking action against encroachments. It is sending legal notices to all the encroachers, he said, adding that guilty engineers and contractors will be brought to justice. He, however, added that residents who either knowingly or unknowingly bought illegal sites and structures are challenging the BBMP in courts, slowing down the clampdown.
Sampath Raj further said that building catchment areas is the need of the hour to prevent floods in the city. The civic body is pushing for the construction of rainwater harvesting systems in each of the wards. Modern technologies are being used for desilting the stormwater drains and cleaning the lakes, Raj added.
Regarding the road repairs going on at a snail's pace, the mayor explains that the traffic flow doesn't go down till 2 am making it difficult for the workers to carry out repairs.
Watch the video to know more about BBMP's city development plans.