Bangalore: A disaster waiting to happen

Did you ever imagine crossing a drain is fraught with danger in IT city?

BANGALORE: Every day, on their way to school, work or just on plain errands, residents of Rajajinagar 4th Block N Block and Ramachandrapuram Layout, risk injury or worse. Their very simple act of crossing a drain separating the two localities is fraught with danger. They cross the storm water drain gingerly balancing themselves on four pipes carrying electric wires that make for a bridge. Not only do they risk falling into the drain, they are also vulnerable to electrocution.

RISKY CROSSING: Children struggle to walk on the pipes that have electric cables to cross the drain in Rajajinagar.— PHOTO: K. GOPINATHAN

Residents and shop-keepers around the area say that a bridge was demolished by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) over two months ago as it constricted the flow of water in the drain and they were promised a much wider bridge.

Although a board proclaims that “work is under progress”, there is no sign of construction, compelling pedestrians to balance themselves on the wire-encased poles as a shortcut. The shortcut is tempting as the longer route involves walking a few km. Apart from garment factory workers, several schoolchildren use the short cut. “There are almost four garment factories in Ramachandrapuram employing at least 1,000 workers each. Children from the Corporation School and Gyana Jyothi School use the shortcut frequently,” says S.K. Murugan, manufacturer of confectioneries in Ramachandrapuram. “Many children have dropped their lunch boxes, bags and books into the drain, and some old people have also fallen into it.”

He points out that there is a very real danger of the people being electrocuted as the wire sleeves are beginning to thin out.

Mr. Murugan says that residents have complained to the BBMP as well as taken up the matter with the MLAs of both the areas but to no avail. “When it rains the situation gets worse. Water overflows into homes and on to the road; a short circuit can take place and people can be electrocuted.”

Deepika Arwind – From THE HINDU

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