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DC glare on Chas drainage, squatters

Bokaro deputy commissioner Sunil Kumar on Monday directed Chas subdivisional officer Sanjay Singh to report why different areas in the township remained under water for three days after heavy rains and flash floods inundated large parts of the district last week.

Kumar wanted to know whether illegal constructions on riverbeds, dried ponds, drains, parks and other government plots had choked the drainage system, resulting in the town remaining under a feet of water for more than 72 hours.

This is the first time it has taken three days for water to subside in Chas, leaving hospitals, educational institutions, markets and homes exposed to myriad dangers.

As Chas is situated on the banks of the river Garga, till this year, during rains, the water would drain into the river. However, that did not happen this time and instead the streets just remained waterlogged.

Incidentally, Chasís population that stood at 60,000 in the 1980s, has now crossed the 3 lakh mark. Several individuals with money and muscle power have encroached upon public land including ponds, drains, water bodies, forests and even riverbeds to build illegal constructions, with little regard for the drainage system. Among the worst affected areas are Chira Chas and Saraswati Nagar.

In July 2011, following complaints of encroachments in Chas township and on the direction of former deputy commissioner Amitabh Kauhal, the then SDO Sudhir Ranjan had detected more than 103 illegal constructions.

According to Ranjan, he had found more than 100 illegal constructions on the riverbed alone, not including encroachments on government land at Chira Chas, Saraswati Nagar, Subhash Nagar, Ansari Mohalla, Muslim Mohalla and other localities.

He had said if the entire Chas area was surveyed, hundreds more illegal constructions would come to light.

Meanwhile, Sunil Kumar said he had asked his officers to give details of encroached land so that action could be taken immediately.