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Bengaluru Mayor Election Today, Civic Woes in Focus

The new mayor will inherit several civic challenges that have bruised the image of the country's IT hub.

Updated:September 28, 2017, 9:16 AM IST
Bengaluru Mayor Election Today, Civic Woes in Focus
Toxic froth from the polluted Bellandur Lake is blown into the air by wind in Bengaluru, India, April 20, 2017. Ballot box (Inset). (Photo: Reuters/ Abhishek N. Chinnappa)
Bengaluru: Elections for a new mayor to succeed G Padmavathi will be held in Bengaluru on Thursday, with the winner inheriting crippling civic issues, including waterlogging, traffic woes and polluted lakes.

Along with corporators, MLAs, MLCs and MPs from the area falling under Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits can cast their ballots in the crucial polls.

The BJP holds the numerical advantage when it comes to those eligible for voting, but the Congress, which is in power in the state, and the JD(S) are again expected to team up to ensure they retain the Mayor and Deputy Mayor positions.

However, the performance of the BBMP over these years, including its latest achievements and failures, are under scrutiny as the city goes to polls on Thursday.

Heavy rains have lead to flooding of roads and houses in low-lying area despite BBMP campaigns to clear encroachments from lake beds and storm water drains while solid waste management remains a big issue with methods to deal with the waste produced by the city still a work in progress. Damaged roads and lakes that froth with pollution are other problems that cripples life in the city.

Bengaluru has received nearly double the normal amount of rainfall for the month of September. It received 295 mm of rain from September 1 to 26 as against the normal of 148 mm, according to the KSNDMC.

The heavy rains which began on Tuesday night led to storm water drains overflowing onto the roads in several localities, leading to water-logging. A number of trees were also uprooted due to the rains in the city, blocking vehicular movement.

A 48-year-old man, Narayanappa, reportedly died at Alur in the city's north suburb when the tiled roof of his old house collapsed in the rains.

Even upscale suburbs like Koramangala and Jayanagar witnessed flash floods as the drains, filled with silt and filth, failed to cope with the huge amounts of water. Rainwater also entered homes in many areas.

Fifty-five-year-old Meenamma, a resident of Krishnarajapuram, a suburb in the eastern part of the city, died on Wednesday after a night of incessant rain, police said.

"Her house was inundated after the rainfall. It was a natural death as she had been suffering from illness for weeks," police constable Chikkarayappa from Krishnarajapuram Police Station said.

A few compound walls in the city also came crashing down due to the night's rain.

"A compound wall in western suburb Chandra Layout collapsed due to the rain, crushing about eight cars that were parked close to it," Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike spokesman Suresh said.

Thousands of chickens at a poultry farm in Nelamangala, a town in Bengaluru Rural district, about 30 km from the city, died after the farm was flooded by rain water, an official said.

The Bellandur Lake, the largest of the lakes and tanks in the city, was seen covered in toxic foam after the rainfall. Similar froth has led to the lake catching fire several times in the past.

Binnamangala Lake in Nelamangala town of Bengaluru Rural district, about 35 km to the north west of the city, breached after the excessive rainfall, leading to water flowing on the roads in the town.

Many villages and towns in south interior Karnataka, especially in Mysuru region like Mandya, Bidadi, Srirangapatna and Channapatna, have been badly affected due to the rains.

According to KSNDMC officials, heavy rain is likely to continue in the state for the next three days.

"An east-west shear zone is prevailing over the region, at 5.8 km above the sea level, wherein winds from west to south and east to north converge to cause instability, thereby leading to rains in the state," Sundar M. Metri, the Bengaluru chief of India Meteorological Department, said.

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