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As Bengaluru reels under rains, politicians indulge in war of words


Bengaluru, Oct 14: With Bengaluru having received forty-eight mm rainfall in the last two days throwing normal life out of gear, the politicians indulged in a war of words over the issue.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah

Torrential rains on Saturday continued to lash Bengaluru where the body of a temple priest, who was missing since Friday, was fished out while a search was on for a mother-daughter duo who were swept away, officials said.

Forty-eight mm rainfall has been recorded in the city since 8.30 a.m. Friday, the weather office said.

Nine people have died in Bengaluru in the past 15 days due the heavy rainfall and in pothole-related accidents.

Opposition BJP has criticised Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, accusing him of failing in his duty. Siddaramaiah, however, flayed the opposition for "politicising" the deaths and described as "unfortunate" the loss of lives. 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 yesterday. His body was recovered today, 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 K J George who toured around the rain-affected areas faced the ire of the residents, who 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-hit areas, 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 per cent of the money spent was squandered," Yeddyurappa claimed. The BJP leader also announced a compensation of Rs one lakh to the next to the kin of deceased.


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