Traders feared water would enter shops

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BENGALURU: Old Tharagupet Road is not new to waterlogging. But traders on the road, who have been knocking on the doors of BBMP to get things fixed to avoid post-rain damages, had their hearts in their mouth on Sunday afternoon as waterlogging intensified and stagnant water reached knee-level by night.
“It was a Sunday, but we were on the road, worried that rainwater may enter our shops. Touch wood, it did not come to that,” said Hitesh Kumar, a wholesale trader on the road. On Monday afternoon, when TOI visited the road, there was still ankle-deep water, mostly sludge, at many spots.
“The biggest reason why this road is in such a mess is that it comes under two different wards. There is no one to care. Every time it rains, we have water swirling here. Most of the workers who help us load/unload packages are barefoot. It is not easy to walk barefoot in knee-deep water with debris, garbage and silt. One can’t even tell what they are walking on and when they might slip,” added Hitesh.
“The shoulder drains have not been maintained properly. Every time BBMP workers clean the drains, they remove silt and garbage from inside and dump the same on the sides. They say that they will remove it once it dries out, but that never happens,” said Jagdish Kumar, another trader in the area.
TOI noticed that silt mixed with debris dumped by the roadside had hardened, obstructing flow of rainwater into the drains.
Traders said that at many spots, the footpath is at height of over two feet, which means their shops are safe, but not reachable due to water stagnation. Trade-activist Sajjan Raj Mehta, who also owns a store on Old Tharagupet Road, said, “We have written to BBMP several times. Many senior civic officials have visited the place. They are aware of the plight of this stretch, but nothing has been done about it. Even a 30-minute rain causes flooding on this street.”
Traders say every time it rains, the manhole overflows, leaving those visiting the area in knee deep sewage.