India’s Bengaluru hit by flooding, traffic snarls after heavy rain

Vehicles drive along a waterlogged road in Bengaluru, Karnataka state, India in this screen grab taken from a social media video September 5, 2022. Mallika Nallusamy/via REUTERS

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Large parts of India’s tech capital Bengaluru were under water on Monday Sept. 4, 2022, after torrential rains uprooted trees, caused crippling traffic and forced offices to issue work-from-home orders to employees, raising fears of further disruptions through the week.

The Bangalore Urban district on Sunday received 28.1 mm rainfall, 368% more than the average, according to data compiled by the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The city has received 141% more rainfall than average since the start of monsoon season on June 1.

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Bengaluru, home to various global companies as well as home-grown startups, has established itself as an important business center in the country’s southern region.

“Bengaluru and south interior Karnataka are likely to get heavy rainfall until Friday. From Saturday, rainfall activity will go down,” said a senior weather official with IMD based in Pune.

On Monday, sources told Reuters that Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc had asked their employees to work from home. IT major Wipro Ltd and Walmart’s Flipkart said they had asked employees to work from home.

People walk next to a bus driving along a waterlogged road in Bengaluru, Karnataka state, India in this screen grab taken from a social media video September 5, 2022. Mallika Nallusamy/via REUTERS

“After two years of work from home, companies are coming back and infrastructure has completely collapsed,” said Krishna Kumar, General Manager at the Outer Ring Road Companies Association (ORRCA).

The group represents firms whose offices are located on the Outer Ring Road, which acts as a major connector in the city.

“Authorities need to focus on scaling up the infrastructure,” Kumar said.

Monday’s flooding forced citizens to empty basements and parking lots, spend more time on the roads in traffic and face power outages in places.

“Right now, we are all living in fear,” said Deepa Babu, a psychologist who counsels adolescent kids and lives in Rainbow Drive, an enclave near the city’s major tech hubs.

“Yesterday the boundary wall next to our house just collapsed,” she added.

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