India’s ‘Silicon Valley’ Struggles: Woman Dies After Car Submerges In Flooded Bengaluru Underpass

Bengaluru Rains: Woman dies after car submerges
Torrential downpours on Sunday wreaked havoc in Bangalore, leaving several areas submerged and causing widespread disruption to daily life. A 22-year-old woman drowned after a car she was travelling in with her family got stuck in the water at the KR Circle underpass.

A resident of Pragathi Nagar near Electronics City, Bhanurekha was an employee at Infosys. She was out with her family, who were visiting her from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh when the vacation turned into a nightmare. She had hired a MUV which got stuck in a flooded underpass, according to reports.

Bengaluru Rains: Woman dies after car submerges

The family was trapped in neck-deep water in the city’s busy KR Circle underpass amid heavy rain late Sunday afternoon and the water gushed inside the vehicle, which also had a driver inside.

Fire and emergency services personnel saved five members of the family and the driver, with the help of people who had rushed to save those trapped in the flooded underpass.

According to eyewitnesses, the driver of the car tried to zoom through the water in the underpass, but the car got stuck and was almost submerged.

People who rushed to help those inside the vehicle reportedly threw sarees and ropes to help them stay afloat. While two of them were dragged out by swimmers of the emergency services personnel, others were brought out using a ladder.

The family was taken to St Martha’s Hospital where doctors declared Bhanurekha dead.

Dr Vaishali DS, emergency medical officer, at St Martha’s Hospital, told The Times of India that the woman was frothing at the mouth, her pupils were dilated and there was no pulse. An ECG was done immediately, and it showed a flat line. She was declared dead —due to drowning.

After learning about the incident, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah rushed to the hospital and took stock of the situation. He announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the relatives of the dead and free treatment for those admitted to the hospital.

“The family from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh had hired a car and come to see Bengaluru. Bhanurekha works in Infosys. Due to the downpour, the barricade at the underpass fell down and the driver took the risk of crossing the underpass, which he should not have,” Siddaramaiah told reporters.

Meanwhile, many other areas including Malleswaram and Rajaji Nagar were waterlogged, as well as Srirampuram, certain areas in Kengeri, Mysuru Road and several other low-lying areas.

Why is India’s ‘Silicon Valley’ struggling due to road infrastructure?

Bangalore, known as India’s “Silicon Valley” and the capital of Karnataka state, has been grappling with the annual monsoon season. However, the recent spell of heavy rains has been exceptionally intense, leading to alarming water levels in various parts of the city.

Arpita Pandey, HR Manager, who recently relocated to Delhi after staying in Bengaluru for almost a decade, recollected begin stuck for hours during rains. She told us, “The city collapses during the rains. I remember being stuck in the office for four hours because I did not get a commute. Buses were full, I had to walk 7 km in the Whitefield area. The metro connectivity is not as dynamic as Delhi’s or Mumbai’s local. And a large dependency on carpools/cabs/personal vehicles is making the carbon footprint very high; autos rarely go by meter. I was asked to pay 100-150 rupees for a 2.2 km distance.”

She further adds that the ‘Silicon Valley’ wave came to the city in the late 1980s, and it has been tagged as a tech city for so long. However, it’s been almost 30 plus years but the city still lacks a full-proof infrastructure system.

Ekta Jeena, an Engineer, residing in Bengaluru, admits that while the population of the city has grown exponentially, the infrastructure couldn’t grow with it, “The roads meant for 10 people have to support 1000 people. Subways flood within just an hour of the rain, it takes an hour to cover barely 3 km of commute.” She further calls on us to think about the plight of common people.

As the city battles to recover, it serves as a reminder of the urgent need for improved urban planning, drainage systems, and disaster preparedness measures to mitigate the impact of such natural disasters in the future.

Image from Moneycontrol

Suggested Reading: Deadly Heatwaves Might Reverse India’s Progress On Poverty And Inequality: Research