Bengaluru: Once known as India’s own silicon valley, and pensioners’ paradise, Bengaluru has now woken up to a new sobriquet from netizens — Venice of India. But the city’s denizens are not at all amused by their travails following the latest bout of incessant rains since Sunday September 4. And they are venting it out on the authorities.
Bengaluru currently resembles a disaster zone. Roads transformed into rivers, huge traffic snarls, students and office-goers stuck at home, power outages, and possible drinking water crisis — all scenes straight out of a Hollywood disaster movie.
Particularly affected are the IT hub regions of Electronics City, Marathahalli, Outer Ring Road, Mahadevapura, Whitefield and Bommanahalli.
Heavy rains inundated these places forcing the authorities to bring out boats and rafts for rescue operations.
Incidentally, this is not the first time that the soft underside of India’s favourite city of IT companies and start ups, has got exposed. While water-logging during monsoon is a common problem, this year it has been particularly severe.
The last few months have seen heavy rains lash the city and leave the city’s civic infrastructure in shambles.
Time and again, industry captains and corporate honchos like Mohandas Pai, and Kiran Mazumder Shaw, have been flagging the issue but all pleas have apparently fallen on deaf ears, if the current situation is any indication.
The latest civic crisis in Bengaluru has left the Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government visibly shaken. The chief minister who also holds Bengaluru Development portfolio, is under fire from the opposition Congress party for the chaos in the city.
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted Monday: “True indeed! Rainbow Layout becomes ‘Rain Layout’ owing to the massive corruption & mal-governance by Betrayal Janta Party – BJP”! #bengalurufloods #BengaluruRain”
With the IT and start-up ecosystem under threat from the disruptions, the state government is trying to salvage the situation on a war footing.
Noting that Bengaluru being a thriving city that has been continuously growing over the past several decades, is bound to face certain infrastructure issues, C.N. Ashwath Narayan, Karnataka minister for IT and BT stated: “Our government has been closely collaborating with the industry. We are doing it now too. I have initiated a meeting and will talk with industry leaders and corporate executives soon. We will work together to find a solution. CM Basavaraj Bommai has taken a serious and keen interest in resolving the concerns as soon as possible.”
“We have organised a meeting with all stakeholders, including the industry, and we are committed to resolving the issues,” he added.
With more rainfall predicted over the next few days, the million dollar question is whether the Bommai government will take concrete steps to improve the city’s infrastructure and salvage Bengaluru’s reputation as India’s IT capital.