Saturday brought more rain and little respite for residents in several parts of southeast Bengaluru where houses were flooded when nearby lakes overflowed on Friday.
At the entrance of a layout in Kodichikkanahalli, Fire and Emergency Services personnel were using earthmovers to lay sand on low-lying spots so that water would not enter houses yet again. It was a stop-gap measure at best: though water had receded from their houses, a mild bout of rain saw water from the nearby drains came gushing out into the locality.
Working in shifts, a small army of Fire and Emergency Services personnel spent all Friday night helping residents clean the silt-covered areas and erect temporary flood barrages (sand sacks).
“Around 250 firefighters along with State Disaster Response Forces teams were deployed to clean up and secure the area from further damages,” said. N.R. Markandeya, Deputy Director (Fire Prevention).
When The Hindu visited the neighbourhood on Saturday afternoon, they were still at work. With barely an hour’s rest between shifts, they were cleaning choked storm-water drains and pumping out stagnant water from roads.
“There are main drains that connect to the lake, but they were blocked with silt and debris which need to be cleared,” said a senior Fire Services official who was supervising the operations.
With Kodichikkanahalli in darkness — power supply was not restored even by Saturday night — the firefighters helped relocate around 75 people. “We have also offered our vehicles to drop the people to their destinations,” said Mr. Markandeya.
Ananya Giridhar, whose house was flooded, was critical about the negligence of the civic authorities. “But the Fire and Emergency Services personnel have been working around the clock and played a crucial role and are helping us cope to normality,” she said.