|A car manoeuvres through submerged Chiryatal Road and (below) a rickshawpuller helps a woman cross waterlogged Khaitan Road in Patna on Tuesday. Pictures by Nagendra Kumar Singh and Jai Prakash
Patna, Sept. 20: Heavy shower since last night yet again dented the claim of the civic body that it was prepared to prevent waterlogging in the state capital.
The city received 56mm rain in the past 24 hours (till 8.30am). As a result, roads were submerged at various places in the city. Drain water flooded some streets.
Commuters had to wade through knee-deep water. Students, too, had to brave waterlogged streets to attend classes. A few had to skip school.
“I could not send my child to school. The road was waterlogged and the autorickshaw driver did not turn up. He said his vehicle would not be able to manoeuvre through the water,” said Shilpi Sinha, a resident of Kankerbagh Colony.
Sinha and her neighbours in low-lying Kankerbagh, which has a history of waterlogging, were worst hit. Water entered the ground floor of many houses in the area.
Those who ventured out had to face not only with waterlogging but also the fear of open manholes.
Rishu Kumar, a resident of Bhoothnath Road, said: “I was returning after dropping my cousin at school when my bike’s wheel got stuck in an open manhole. It could have led to a mishap.”
Open manholes had led to a number of fatal accidents in the state capital. On May 21, a five-year-old boy, Roshan Kumar, lost his life after he fell into an uncovered manhole on Bhoothnath Road under Agamkuan police station. Mayor Afzal Imam and Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) officials had promised to cover all open manholes in the city before the advent of monsoon. Nothing, however, was done. The mayor told The Telegraph later that the state government had refused to release funds to cover manholes.
Those who remained at home were also not spared the trouble as dirty water entered a number of tenements.
Lallan Prasad, a resident of Ashok Nagar, said: “Rain is never a boon for us. It is always accompanied by waterlogging. The garbage and the silt from drains enter our homes with the standing rainwater. Not only are we prevented from going out; staying at home is also a problem. I can’t understand what the PMC is doing.”
PMC officials, however, claimed that they were doing everything to ease the problems of citizens.
“Water has gone down in most of the places naturally. In other places, we are using pumping sets to drain out the standing water,” said Anil Kumar, the executive officer of Kankerbagh circle.
He added: “Seven pumps are being used in localities like Bahadurpur sectors 5, 6 and 7 and Postal Park.”
Some residents of Kankerbagh claimed that the condition had improved since the early 1990s when every spell of rain meant waist-high standing water. They, however, added that waterlogging was still common and it took around seven to eight hours for the water to drain out today.
“The condition has improved since the early 1990s, when there would be waist-high water after every downpour. At least, there isn’t that much water these days,” said Kanti Factory Road resident Vinod Kumar. “However it still takes seven to eight hours for the water to drain out. ”
The Kankerbagh residents might face the same situation again as the Met department said monsoon was not over yet. Animesh Chanda, the director of Patna Met department, said: “Although the low pressure condition has shifted, the monsoon is still active. Thus, the state capital will continue to receive light to medium rainfall for at least the next 24 hours.”
Shower paralyses life
Torrential rain since last night flooded roads in Muzaffarpur and crippled normal life.
The sewage water inundated shops on Kedarnath Road, Harisabha Chowk, Devi Mandir Road, Jawaharlal Road, Kalyani, Tilak Maidan, Station Road, Islampur Road and other low-lying areas. Business establishments remained closed for most part of the day. People were forced to wade through knee-deep water. Rickshaws and autos went off the roads. However, the city ring bus service operated normally and remained unaffected.
Employees of the municipal corporation, including the workers of private agency Nidan, swung into action to remove the blockages in the drains. Deputy mayor Mohammad Nisaruddin said the downpour paralysed normal life. He added that Nidan workers were at work despite heavy rain.