Waterlogging is not linked with rain in the state capital. At least, it seems so.
Around 21 hours after the incessant rain stopped, a car had to wade through chassis-deep water on a Kadamkuan street on Tuesday afternoon. (See graphic)
The deluge started in the city on Friday night. The rain stopped around 4.30pm on Monday. The Telegraph spotted the car wading through water on Tuesday at 1.30pm, around two-and-a-half hours before a spell of rain lashed the city again around 5pm.
Not just the Kadamkuan street where the car’s wheels submerged under water, incessant rain over the past four days has turned several localities of the city into virtual islands, exposing hollowness of the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC)’s tall claims on monsoon preparedness.
The city experienced over 185mm rainfall from Friday night to Monday, leaving Kankerbagh, Rajendra Nagar, Dariyapur, Kadamkuan, Patel Nagar, Patliputra Colony, Digha, Rajeev Nagar, Saristabad, Chandpur Bela, Bakarganj, Sultanganj and Jakkanpur areas inundated. The evening rain on Tuesday worsened the situation.
Taking a dig at chief minister Nitish Kumar over the waterlogging problem in the city, Lalu said: “I still remember the day when Nitish and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi had claimed that they would make Patna like Paris. But the recent rainfall exposed the poor drainage system in the city. This government claimed to have spent crores on improving the drainage system. I want to know where are the new channels?”
Most of the citizens took Lalu’s remarks with a pinch of salt, though. They felt the present regime as well as the erstwhile Lalu-Rabri Devi’s government did precious little to address the problem. Despondency gripped most of them.
Manu Mishra, a resident of Jakkanpur, said: “Parties rule and go, but nobody addresses the waterlogging problem. None of the governments had any policy or plan in place for this perpetual menace.”
Rajendra Nagar resident Nanda Chakroborty said: “It seems there is no municipal body in the city to take care of civic problems like these.”
The civic body authorities blamed rain gods for the residents’ plight. “We tried to prepare as much as possible for the monsoon. But if it pours heavily for a few days at a stretch, managing the situation becomes difficult for us. Water has subsided in most of the areas now. The situation should be completely under control by tomorrow (on Wednesday) if there is no further downpour,” said mayor Afzal Imam.
He said: “Patna is a developing city. Fast-paced construction at times blocks drains and sewers. But officials are working overtime to bring the situation back to normal. Even I kept moving till late on Sunday night to ensure pump sets were installed at the right places.”
Anil Kumar, the executive officer of Kankerbagh circle of PMC, said water had been flushed out from most of the areas in his zone. His Capital circle counterpart Avinash Singh said PMC was trying its best to deal with the situation.