Minister to head disaster management team for Bangalore

Bangalore, June 1 (IANS) A day after Bangalore was battered by the heaviest rain in 122 years, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah Saturday announced a disaster management team exclusive for the city to be headed by a cabinet minister.

The rain that started late Friday continued till early hours of Saturday and the met department said it recorded 100 mm rainfall, just 1.6 mm lower than the heaviest recorded June 16, 1891.

The downpour led to the death of one person, uprooted 23 trees, caused massive traffic holdups, waterlogged around 20 localities and flooded 93 houses across the city, an official statement said late Saturday.

The statement came after Siddaramaiah met several cabinet ministers and senior officials of the Bangalore city civic body to decide on steps to respond to such emergencies.

The chief minister noted that though there was disaster management committee for Bangalore urban district headed by a senior official, the city needed an exclusive team to tackle disaster situations.

He announced that Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy, who is also in-charge of Bangalore, would head the team. Reddy is assembly member from a south Bangalore constituency.

Siddaramaiah told the Bangalore city civic officials to immediately start cleaning up storm water drains and not wait for another heavy downpour.

A major problem in the city is whenever there is a heavy downpour the rain water floods the streets as drains are clogged with garbage.

The city has grown exponentially since it became the nation’s IT hub. It is now home to nearly 10 million people and over four million vehicles.

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