MCC: Are you ready for disaster management this monsoon?
Abracadabra By K. B. Ganapathy, Columns, Top Stories

MCC: Are you ready for disaster management this monsoon?

April 12, 2022

If summer is here, can monsoon be far away? No. Come May-June, the blue sky above will turn grey and then black; wind will move faster and scorched earth would drench itself with the copious rain from above.

Rains, in the beginning, come like thieves. Stealthily. Unpredictably. Poor two-wheeler riders are often caught unawares. And then sooner or later it pours. Buckets. Thunderclaps. Thunderstorm accompanied with lightning and then the sky with low-hanging dark, menacing clouds burst into rain with tsunami-like speed and surprise.

I talk of the rains because I am aware of the havoc wreaked by heavy rains with gusty high velocity winds in the last two-three  years in our city. The over-flowing storm-water drains that criss-cross the city and the residential layouts, the flooded roads and the UGD choked with the manholes spewing the muck that rush into houses in the low-lying areas, vehicles floating in the gushing waters on the roads turned rivers in spate. This will be the common sight during those heavy downpours.

But the worst scenario would be landslides in the slopes and the Chamundi Hill. Add to this the likely collapse of old buildings, some century old, like the iconic Devaraja Market,  Lansdowne building and others.

Our Mysuru City Corporation  (MCC) and the Public Works Department (PWD) must anticipate such disastrous events following the rains and gear themselves to manage the situation effectively and in time. Are they ready? Do they have all the equipment and paraphernalia and trained manpower to face such an eventuality? Are the inflatable rubber rescue boats and vehicles that can move on flooded roads ready?

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Is the Fire Brigade ready? How about the protocol for evacuating people and animals from the disaster location? Where would they find shelter for those who are evacuated? How will they be rehabilitated? What about their food and medicine?

CESC (Electricity Department): Are you ready for monsoon emergency?

Forest Department: Are you ready with battery-operated saw and wood-cutting equipment to clear the roads that might be blocked with trees felled by the rains?

Let us hope the elected representatives and the officers concerned would apply their mind to these issues before the monsoon sets in. With the ‘climate change’ there is a possibility of the rainfall being as erratic and as ferocious like in the past. You are warned.

Lansdowne building
Lansdowne, now abandoned
as dangerous to occupy

Now let me come to two huge buildings of century old  Devaraja Market and Lansdowne building. Devaraja Market has been waiting to collapse if heavy rains lash it — like it happened in August 2016 when a portion of it collapsed.

The problem is the do-gooders, wise people. There are two groups doing a kind of “manthan”, as in the mythology of “Samudra Manthan.” One group is of “Experts”, defenders of heritage buildings and the other is the Government which wants to demolish it and reconstruct new one (keeping the same architecture if need be). The matter is in the Court with some tenants urging for restoration by conservation experts. Well, by the time the Court decision is pronounced, the monsoon would be here and God knows what would happen to the barely standing structure of Devaraja Market. Hello! MCC are you ready for the disaster management this monsoon? Or are you expecting the Conservation Experts (Consultants) to do miracle, paying their hefty consultation fee, as in the past?

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Now, about the Lansdowne building. This has been abandoned as dangerous for occupation for over a decade now after a part it collapsed killing four persons in August 2012.

The Government Guest House
The Government Guest House

Silly questions are asked by those lovers of heritage buildings: How come other century old buildings like the Government House and the Wellington House are in good habitable condition?

The Wellington House (Lodge)
The Wellington House (Lodge)

Well, it all depends on the quality of construction and the engineers who built them. But more importantly both these buildings were Residential buildings, less given to abuse and pressure of daily use. Whereas, Devaraja Market and Lansdowne buildings are subjected to abuse by their tenants (for making their tenements suitable for their shop or business requirement). Many walls were broken and the rented area modified weakening the structure and the building.

Devaraja Market
Devaraja Market — a
misleading facade

And then, daily thousands of footfalls tread the moving space of the buildings. Naturally they become structurally weak and susceptible to collapse due to age and natural calamities like heavy rains and even a minor earth tremor.

Think about what is good for those who occupy and use these buildings seriously, rationally. Not emotionally, like a sentimental fool. Should we hear the collapse of the building and death of people after these heritage buildings are “restored”?

MCC, be ready for disaster management this monsoon? Forewarned is Forearmed.

 e-mail: [email protected]

8 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “MCC: Are you ready for disaster management this monsoon?”

  1. Questo says:

    Hello Mr Ganapthy
    1. The illusion about Devaraja market and Lansdowne building -what is left of them
    This article is a waste of your time and effort, as you, a Mysorean of just 4 decades who arrived to settle in the City, AFTER Devaraja Market was abandoned by the customers
    who did not want to buy the overpriced and old fruits and vegetables sold by the shop keepers who were sublet by a complex web lessee-owner practice thus increasing the
    overheads, and that Lansdowne building shops the size of match boxes were deserted by the shop keepers who wanted more space for their business.
    This year’s monsoon rains hopefully put an end to the much maligned renovation plan of these 2 crumbling buildings by flattening them out. Nature’s solution!!
    2. Monsoon rains and the massive destruction
    Before, the very large influx of non-Mysoreans with who you arrived to settle in the then very compact City, the forests around it protecting it from the ravages of the monsoon weeks.
    Your arrival with the above large invaders, meant clearance of the above forests to make way for housing , thus removing the natural protection the City had. The effect of monsoon
    rains became very devastating indeed. the new comers like you, were all car lovers, which meant that the boundaries of this City were extended up to Banni Mantap, as well as
    creating housing extension at the foot of the Chamundi Hill. Cars pounding on the fragile Chamundi Hill road have cause massive stress of the Hill geological structure, and the rainms simply kake this worse resulting in earth slides . No use in grumbling about the destruction of the Hill, when this was initiated by likes of you who arrived with a large crowd car-loving non-Mysoreans.
    It is silly and futile to expect the corrupt MCC to do anything about the effects of the rains. The sewer and rain water will merge causing the stinky liquid mix flooding the raods and streets of this once wonderful city. The corrupt bunch at the MCC would not care one way or the other, as Mysoreans use boats to travel around the city!
    Again, there will be no much maligned Rope Way construction too, as there is no use with it on a crumbling Hill! Nature’s wrath!!
    3. Greater Mysore
    Eco-villains like the Andrudu MC commissioner, the idiot Pratapa Simha and the fool -the district minister, along with a bunch of other cretins like the elected corporators , MLAs, are busy planning further destruction of the city, now that the 10-lane highway is gong to be operation, along with the expansion of the Mysore airport , with the impending construction of the Hassan-Kodagu-Kerala highway. Further massive settlers, clearing further forests, exposing further the City to the destruction by monsoon rains. Nature’s revenge over the best laid plans of mice and men!!

  2. koppal boregowda says:

    The MCC is corrupt to the core. Our- Gowdas ‘ leader Deve Gowda if welcomed back as the CM, has plans to ensure that devastation of the monsoon rains are avoided.

  3. koppal boregowda says:

    The MCC is corrupt to the core. Our- Gowdas ‘ leader Deve Gowda if welcomed back as the CM, has plans to ensure that devastation of the monsoon rains are avoided.

  4. sachin says:

    Allow me rearrange the headline question as an affirmative answer “We are Ready to Manage the Disaster!” (as always, on our own, no excuses or justifications)

  5. Mann Ki Baat! says:

    @sachin
    A rearrangement needs an elaboration explaining steps taken to get the ” readiness” state , and that Mr Ganapathy, a journalist cannot do it, but the MCC should.
    What you have suggested is a mere exercise in high school English grammar!
    You have missed what journalism is all about-it is questioning the authorities concerned-in this case the MCC, which Mr Ganapathy has done it very well.

  6. sachin says:

    @Mann ki Baat!
    What you have observed is in a way true, if read devoid of the underlying reality – that it is citizens who should finally take care of themselves, for if not, they are the ones to suffer! May be, who knows, one may need to take life a bit more literally and seriously?
    Perhaps, the only thing missing to be noticed, was a pinch of wit, irony, satire and dollops of humour…. about my earlier rearranged school english grammar!
    Thank you for adding your perspectives and enriching this discussion.
    Now, I am off to have my bisi bele baat or is it vangi baat?!

  7. Mann Ki Baat! says:

    Hey Sachin
    I am using this name:” Mann Ki Baat”, to laugh at your PM, who abandoned his wife after marriage and made her anon-person, but has the temerity to dish out to you his citizens through this bullshit programme called: ” Mann Ki Baat”.Obviously he addresses you in Hindi, the fanatic North India!
    I left India, when it was fast sinking in to a cesspit of corruption, nepotism and a land where every one wants to belong to a backward caste to get reservations of all sorts.
    Hey, it is 70 years after independence. People vote corrupt governments of one party or the other.
    Even in Mysore of 1950s, the Municipality then was corrupt-that was within 10 years after independence. The monsoon rains surely wrecked havoc, tress falling on electric poles and the livewires strewn all over the road like the 100feet Road, then also referred to as Chamaraja Double Road, A few were electrocuted then. Life in India has been very cheap.
    Even in 1950s, when dimwits in SOM claim as the Golden Era, Royal Mysore etc..except that one could walk end-to-end on footpaths, dishonesty crept in fast. The Municipality clerks then in 1950s,were charging 25 Rupees as ‘mamools’ to issue a death certificate, after paying its official fee!
    That was 25 years BEFORE Mr Ganapthy , the SOM owner arrived to Mysore, along with a massive influx of non-Mysoreans.
    Finally take your pick: Bisi Bele Baat or Vangi Baat-in both ingredients you use in Mysore/India are adulterated.

  8. Mann Ki Baat! says:

    Hey Sachin
    I am using this name:” Mann Ki Baat”, to laugh at your PM, who abandoned his wife after marriage and made her anon-person, but has the temerity to dish out to you his citizens through this bullshit programme called: ” Mann Ki Baat”.Obviously he addresses you in Hindi, the fanatic North India!
    I left India, when it was fast sinking in to a cesspit of corruption, nepotism and a land where every one wants to belong to a backward caste to get reservations of all sorts.
    Hey, it is 70 years after independence. People vote corrupt governments of one party or the other.
    Even in Mysore of 1950s, the Municipality then was corrupt-that was within 10 years after independence. The monsoon rains surely wrecked havoc, tress falling on electric poles and the livewires strewn all over the road like the 100feet Road, then also referred to as Chamaraja Double Road, A few were electrocuted then. Life in India has been very cheap.
    Even in 1950s, when dimwits in SOM claim as the Golden Era, Royal Mysore etc..except that one could walk end-to-end on footpaths, dishonesty crept in fast. The Municipality clerks then in 1950s,were charging 25 Rupees as ‘mamools’ to issue a death certificate, after paying its official fee!
    That was 25 years BEFORE Mr Ganapthy , the SOM owner arrived to Mysore, along with a massive influx of non-Mysoreans.
    Finally take your pick: Bisi Bele Baat or Vangi Baat-in both ingredients you use in Mysore/India are adulterated.

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