HomeIndiaFlood and its political economy

Flood and its political economy

Parties that have been in power since the 1990s will have to share the blame for the situation

Parties that have been in power since the 1990s will have to share the blame for the situation

The recent flooding of parts of Bengaluru, especially the IT Corridor, triggered an expected blame-game between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress, which “ruined” Bengaluru. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai termed the encroachment of lakes, wetlands and storm water drains (SWDs) connecting the lakes as a “heritage” that his government had inherited.

Looking at how things have changed since the 1990s, all the parties that have been in power – Congress for 13 years, BJP and various incarnations of Janata Dal for 10 years will have to share the blame for the present state. of cases. Since the mid-1990s, which saw rapid development of the IT corridor, this part of the city has been hit by floods several times. Foam and froth have sprung up in Bellandur Lake and even caught fire causing severe disruption of Bellandur development and water ecology.

The IT Corridor and its adjoining areas extend from East Bengaluru along the Outer Ring Road to South-East Bengaluru. These areas were the most affected parts of the city by floods even before 2022. The location of the Electronic City, established in 1978, to the south-east of the city, has played an important role in the spatial direction of the growing IT corridor. in the mid 1990s.

The IT boom not only saw the creation of technical parks and office space in the east-southeast axis of the city’s outskirts, but also residential projects, schools and other facilities to cater to those working here. With an incredible construction boom, it has the densest settlements of labor colonies as well as upscale apartments. Development in this area has been largely unplanned; It is guided by a demand-supply logic without any regulation and is rigged by a nexus of realtors and politicians. Experts have been pointing to a complete disregard for lakes, wetlands and SWDs along the city’s east-southeast axis. Climate change has only increased the frequency of extremely heavy rains in short interval events in Bengaluru. This has been one of the main causes of flooding in some parts of the city. Flooding has become more pronounced where the water flow ecosystem has been disrupted.

This uncontrolled development led by market forces has happened in the absence of government intervention for the provision of infrastructure such as housing. It is surprising that the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) never tried to develop a housing layout in the bustling IT corridor of the city. Their layouts do not spatially match the direction of development in the city. A planned development in these areas would not have allowed for the existing density and would have also addressed concerns of regional disparity in development within the city. As a testament to the resilience of the planned development, older parts of Bengaluru are better able to handle extreme weather events, although their infrastructure also shows flaws.

The areas now most flooded were mostly governed by village panchayats and municipalities, which have relatively weak regulatory mechanisms during the peak of the development boom. They were included within the city limits only in 2007. The civic agencies are still on hold to provide the infrastructure. Ironically, the world famous IT hub is yet to get a functional modern drainage system and piped drinking water.

There is probably no quick fix to this mess and it requires a great political will to take a long-term approach and fix things. The government has launched a drive to remove the encroachment of SWD and wetlands, as is done every time there is a flood. Each time, the drive has stopped at the gates of the rich and powerful. This trend is regardless of the party in power.

adhitya.bharadwaj@thehindu.co.in

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Hello Friends, My Name is Raushan Kumar. I am a Part-Time Blogger and Student. I am author of https://searchnews.in . We're dedicated to providing you the best of News, with a focus on Business, Health, Lifestyle, World, Tech, India, Gadget.
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