Residents of Patna may be praying for an early monsoon to relieve them of the scorching heat but the rains may resurrect the seasonal curse of waterlogging.
The Patna Met department has predicted normal (around 96 per cent) monsoon this year from June 12. The Met officials have warned of occasional heavy rainfall because of the prevailing hot and dry summer.
Taking note of the prediction, the urban development department has directed Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) to ensure that repair and cleaning of drains are completed by the first week of June.
The prevention of waterlogging and uninterrupted discharge of rainwater is ensured through co-ordinated efforts of various agencies, including the public works department, the road construction department, the rural works department, Bihar State Electricity Board, PMC and Bihar Rajya Jal Parishad.
The civic body officials claim that work has begun to clean the drains. “Work on three drains has been completed and cleaning of another would be over in a week. Work on Bakarganj and Kurji drains would be completed in June. We have also made special arrangements to prevent waterlogging at the New Market and Dak Bungalow-Frazer Road areas,” said Sheshank Shekhar Sharma, the executive officer of the New Capital Circle of PMC.
Citizens, however, are sceptical that the plans on paper would be implemented effectively.
“Such claims are made every year but several roads remain submerged in knee-deep water as soon as the rains arrive,” said Gautam Kumar, a resident of Gardanibagh.
At present, Patna has a network of 535 drains. Cleaning them is not the only problem (see chart). The water from these drains goes through four sewerage treatment plants at Beur, Pahari, Karmalichak and Saidpur. The treated water is discharged into Thanuwa and Baksahi open canals and then it flows down to river Punpun. The catch in the system is that all the sewerage treatment plants are virtually defunct and only 15 per cent of the dirty water is treated.