A two-wheeler negotiates an inundated street at Arunodaya Nagar in Cuttack.
Picture by Badrika Nath Das
Cuttack, March 23: Choked, stinking and overflowing drains have made life miserable for residents of Arunodaya Nagar in ward No. 41 of the civic body here. With monsoon only a few months away, they have now become all the more worried apprehending the worst possible waterlogging cases.
“We are unable to step out of our homes as wastewater submerges the local roads at least twice everyday. No person can live in such unhygienic conditions,” said Kavita Das, 45, a homemaker.
She said the wastewater had reached the level of their homes several times in the last couple of months. “During such times, our children and elderly persons have to spend most of their times indoors,” she said.
A controversy over a private land had created problems in linking the drainage channels of the area with the main drain at Khan Nagar via Link Road, said another local resident.
“We have been living here from 1989. But, we had never witnessed such waterlogging in the past,” said Asish Parida, 45, another resident of Arunodaya Nagar.
Rapid building construction and unauthorised land occupation had hindered the release of wastewater from the locality, said a resident.
A member of the Arunodaya Citizens’ Forum — the organisation that has been fighting for civic rights of the local residents — said the entire drainage system of the locality had collapsed. He also alleged that the Cuttack Municipal Corporation did not take any step to solve their grievances despite repeated complaints.
“Unauthorised occupation is to be blamed mainly for the poor sanitation standards in our locality. The civic authorities have not taken any step to demolish the illegal structures that are obstructing the passage of wastewater from here,” said Arunodaya Citizens’ Forum general secretary Batakrushna Bhuiyan, 68.
Bhuiyan said the corporation had installed two motor pumps to flush out wastewater from the locality. However, the residents alleged that was not adequate as wastewater gets accumulated again just as soon as the pumps stop working.
Local councillor Akhaya Behera admitted that there had been problems in executing work for construction of road and drain in the area because of an ongoing legal dispute over a piece of land.
“The corporation officials are aware of the situation. Measures will soon be initiated to solve the residents’ problems,” said Behera.