Despite the heavy rain and chaos, how did the Electronic City, one of Bengaluru’s first major information technology (IT) hubs, keep itself safer compared to the relatively new IT parks on Outer Ring Road? Mohandas Pai, former Infosys director and Chairman of Aarin capital, who has also been actively working on resolving several civic issues in Bengaluru, has a simple answer: “By just keeping the drains clear.”
Bengaluru’s Outer Ring Road, now named Dr Puneeth Rajkumar Road, is the city’s longest technology corridor which spans over 17 km and has been the epicentre of the flash floods. IT parks such as Manyata Tech Park and RMZ eco space, which have been built close to the lakes or on reclaimed land, and many buildings that have been constructed on the lake buffer zones and wetlands are among the worst-hit.
According to a paper on Land Use Land Cover (LULC) dynamics by the Indian Institute of Science, (IISc) Bengaluru, the city has seen a 1005% increase in urban built-up area between 1973 and 2016.
Experts say the new IT parks stand on contoured terrain, which means the flow of water is blocked, making them prone to flooding.
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“Electronic City does not face such issues as it has decent drains. All of us (companies) clean our drains regularly. Companies such as Infosys and others make sure that the drains are cleaned up to 2 km, along with the government drains. There were issues earlier when water got accumulated, but now it gets cleared within hours as there is regular maintenance,” Pai told News18.