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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS: After the floods, Bengaluru needs to clean up its act

 Source: The Hindu


  • Prelims: Floods, rainfall pattern, Disaster management, e/governance etc
  • Mains GS Paper II & III: Issues with the urbanization, corruption and issues associated with it.


  • Various analyses attribute Bengaluru’s flooding to more rainfall in the future.
    • It is expected to increase to an average of 1,000 mm per annum from the current 650 mm per annum .






  • A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry.
  • In the sense of “flowing water“, the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide.

There are three common type of floods:

  • Flash Floods: Caused by rapid and extensive rainfalls.
  • River Floods: Caused when consistente rain or snow melt forces a river to exceed capacity.
  • Coastal Floods: Caused by storm surges associated with tropical cyclones and tsunami.



Impact of corruption on cities:

  • Cripples economic growth:It cripples economic growth in ways not readily apparent.
  • Wealth to undeserving: Transferring inordinate wealth to the undeserving
  • Vested interested groups: It creates a slew of vested interests, who resist anti-corruption process reforms.


Impact of narrow and rigid rules on people:

  • Strict laws. Building bye-laws are so labyrinthine that the strictest law-abiding citizen cannot comply with them.
  • Opportunities to agents: That provides opportunities for agents who bypass the system’s rigidities.
  • Red tapism: Ironically then, corruption actually reduces red tape.


The loopholes

  • Excape: Legal definition of corruption enables many in a corrupt system to escape culpability.
  • Only public servants under corrupt act: Indian law recognises only corrupt acts by public servants to be ‘acts of corruption’ under the law.
  • Private corruption is not criminalized: many government actions are outsourced to private agents.


Issues with E-Governance:

  • Relocate: E-enabled systems often only relocate the locus of corruption
  • Vulnerable to manipulation: Large databases, such as land records, when moved to paperless systems are vulnerable to manipulation.
  • Encroachments: They are enabled when old records are destroyed and new ones are created.
  • Digital signatures: Power shifts from land administrators to the one who possesses the digital signature.
  • The data entry operator: He becomes an all-important and corruptible cog in the wheel.


Steps that can be taken to prevent floods in cities:

  • Decongest the city
  • Plant more trees
  • Save wetlands
  • Desilt drains
  • Enlarge sewers
  • Deconcretise pavements
  • Stop the clogging of waterways with unsegregated garbage.
  • Demolition of unauthorized encroachments.


Way Forward

  • Regular assessments and evaluations of ongoing anti-corruption measures: Eliminate the possibility of declaring false victories.
    • They help in red-flagging new corruption opportunities, even as old ones are eliminated.
  • Whistle-blower protection: A genuine regime of whistle-blower protection assures honest citizens, politicians, bureaucrats and judges of protection, as they otherwise fear the adverse repercussions for uncovering illegal activities.
    • Confidence-assuring whistle-blower protection measures can lead to exposure of more corruption, particularly at higher levels.
  • Promoting ethical behavior: Conscious move towards promoting ethical behavior.
    • As moral science education has been tainted by religious colours.
  • Need of an enlightened leadership: The one necessary ingredient, going by the experience of cities and countries that have cleaned up their acts.
    • If anti-corruption strategies are to be successful,



  1. E-governance is not only about utilization of the power of new technology, but also much about the critical importance of the ‘use value’ of information. Explain.(UPSC 2018)

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