Bengaluru rains: Nine dead in 15 days; Karnataka govt, Opposition trade charges as downpour wrecks city

Bengaluru: Torrential rains on Saturday continued to lash Bengaluru where the body of a temple priest, which was washed away on Friday, was recovered while a mother-daughter duo, who were swept away, remained untraced, police said.

Nine deaths in the past 15 days due to potholes and rains drew sharp criticism from the opposition BJP, which alleged that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has failed in his duty.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Siddaramaiah, however, flayed the opposition for "politicising" the deaths.

City civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) along with the National Disaster Rapid Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Rapid Force (SDRF) intensified the search operation and formed three teams.

The priest of a temple near Kurubarahalli Circle was swept away in a stormwater drain after water gushed inside the temple on Friday. His body was recovered on Saturday, the police said.

The search for the 57-year-old woman and her 22-year-old daughter, who were swept away in a stormwater drain at Laggere after water from it flooded their house, was underway, they said.

Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah and Bengaluru development minister KJ George, who toured around the rain-affected areas faced the ire of the residents, said there was no one around to save them when water entered their houses.

When reporters pointed out the substandard civic works leading to the deaths, the chief minister lost his cool.

"It is unfortunate that people have lost their lives... I condole the deaths that happened due to rains. Compensation will be given to the families of those who lost their lives," he said.

"However, you should know that the state this year has received unprecedented rains. We had continuous rains for 47 days. But, politics over deaths is condemnable. Our priorities should be to offer relief to the affected people," he added.

Siddaramaiah said the removal of encroachments and de-silting of stormwater drains would be intensified in the coming days.

BJP state unit president Yeddyurappa, who visited the rain-wracked areas, also blamed Siddaramaiah for the deaths.

"Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the Congress government are responsible for each and every death... Had the government completed the construction of stormwater drains on time, people would not have faced such a bad situation," he alleged.

"The state government has spent Rs 800 crore (for the remodelling of stormwater drains) and contractors who were blacklisted were given the contract... At least 75 percent of the money spent was squandered," Yeddyurappa claimed.

The BJP leader announced a compensation of Rs one lakh to the next to the kin of deceased.

Updated Date: Oct 14, 2017 18:24 PM

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