Expressway drainage was blocked by villagers for access to farm lands, says Highways ministry

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The flooded section of the expressway near Ramanagara, on Saturday.

BENGALURU: A day after a section of the Bengaluru-Mysuru expressway was inundated, leading to accidents, and drawing much criticism on social media, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has said that villagers of Madapura and others had blocked the drain with soil, resulting in inundation of the road.

In a statement issued on March 18, the ministry said, “In Karnataka, on March 17, there was excessive rainfall (3.9 mm against 0.1 mm normal) resulting in inundation below Animal Overpass at km 42.640 due to blockage of drainage path by the villagers. Villagers of Madapura and others have tried to short cut access to enter their agriculture lands and village at Km 42+640 by blocking the drain with soil for a width of 3 mt to make their own pathway from service road resulting in inundation of road due to blockage of drainage path”.

The ministry statement further said that the ‘bund constructed by the villagers for their access was removed in the morning on March 18 itself’. Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha, who shared the statement and some videos on Twitter, said the drainage was blocked illegally and two hume pipes were installed to rectify the issue.

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