The open stormwater drainage that runs through Indiranagar, has become a part of the life of the residents. The stench, garbage and pollution caused by the drainage have always been ignored by local authorities, and the dangers of broken fences and strewn garbage are a cause for concern.
While walking down the road before the ESI Hospital junction in Indiranagar, the small bridge over a massive drainage does not allow for anything except holding one’s nose and running across the footpath as fast as is possible. This drainage is the continuation of a long open canal that pours into the Ulsoor lake. Most of this water is stagnant, and has been a breeding ground for many weeds, plants, and insects of all kinds. Several of the residents around the area dump their garbage into this drainage.
The homeless in the city have built sheds along the length of it. From the bridge, the sights of children defecating into the water are common. Since the drainage has been in the same condition for over ten years, many of the residents and shop owners have made their peace with it.
Many shops and small restaurants in the area operate even with the looming stench and the fear of insects contaminating their food. Some claim that this does not affect their customers.
Mohammed, who works at Ambur Biriyani restaurant right next to the stormwater drainage, says, “earlier it used to bother us, but now we have become used to the smell from the drainage. Sometimes, we even throw our food waste into it, but we make sure that it is only wet waste.”
A resident living within a few metres from this drainage, who did not wish to be named, said, “we have been living in this house for almost 15 years, and I cannot remember the last time I opened the windows overlooking the drains. Even after numerous complaints to the corporators, and false promises received from them, there has never been any solution to this.”
When asked about the safety of the drainage, the resident added, “many of the fences around the footpath, leading to the bigger drainage, are broken. We do not allow our children to play outside in the dark.” She has never been in contact with any of the dwellers near her house. Many residents claim that even after numerous complaints, and false promises from contesting MLAs every year, no action has been taken to clean the stormwater drainage and cover it. Several shop owners have become accustomed to the pollution.