A resident wades through Dhanbad’s waterlogged Babudih area on Thursday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Incessant rains since Wednesday evening threw Dhanbad’s civic life off gear, disrupting power and water supply, flooding streets, putting mines, collieries and crops at risk and raising river Damodar 3ft above the danger level of 465ft.
In the past 24 hours till 8am on Thursday morning, the district got 67.7mm of rainfall according to Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Baliapur. According to Thursday noon figures sourced from Patna and Alipore (Calcutta) Met offices, rainfall was 126mm in Dhanbad. Moderate rain continued till noon, while light drizzle went on.
Standing water at Tapovan Colony near Bhuiphore, Manaitand, Gandhi Nagar, Railway Colony, Station Road, Gaya Bridge, Bank More, Hirapur and Saraidhela held up traffic.
Power was cut from 7am to noon. Colliery areas Jharia, Jamadoba, Ghanudih, Lodna, Bastacola, Dhansar, Tirsa, Bhaga, Phusbunglow, which went without power and water, incurred losses. JSEB (Dhanbad) superintending engineer Satish Chandra Thakur said a snag led to a spark in the Putki feeder of DVC. “Incessant rain hampered maintenance. Wires snapped,” he said.
Power outage led to dry taps. “Water is supplied through our Jharia tank only if the level is above 14ft,” Mada managing director Amrendra Trivedi said, promising supply by evening. But, as Trivedi said, other factors were also at play. Motors in Damodar river to pump water to the Jamadoba treatment plant got submerged. “Often, garbage clogs the submerged motor pump. No one dares to risk lives to clean the pump.”
Senior officials of BCCL safety department went to Kusunda, Bastacola, Sijua, Govindpur, Lodna and Block-2 area and oversaw water clearance work. BCCL general manager (safety) Surendra Singh, who supervised work in Kusunda, Bastacola and others, said steps had been taken to avoid seepage. “Pumps are being run to flush out water in all entry points of mines,” he said.
Can’t civic authorities be better prepared for heavy rain?