| Water flows from a leaked pipe at Bahadurpur Colony in Patna. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
A drop of pure drinking water is like a dream for residents of Bahadurpur Housing Colony for the past five years, thanks to civic apathy.
Water leaks from broken pipes and flow out on the roads of the locality. Residents of the colony complain that they have been getting water mixed with soil through the pipes for the past five years after joints in the pipes loosened.
The colony, where 5,000 people reside, is home to VIPs, including a retired deputy superintendent of police, district judges, IAS officers and doctors, among others. But even that has not helped.
Rameshwar Ram, the retired deputy superintendent of police of Muzaffarpur residing in the colony, said: “The civic engineers keep busy. So they have forgotten to repair the damaged pipes in the last few years.”
He quickly added: “The plumber of the water board department, who is supposed to repair the damaged PMC pipes, told me that PMC has stopped providing him the seal to plug the holes for the past few years. The state government is so poor that it does not have money to buy nut bolts and seals.”
Ward councillor Chandrashekhar said he had approached the water board many times but in vain.
Orthopaedic R.N. Singh, another resident of the colony, said: “The state government has nothing to do with the problems of the public. But we tried our best to solve the problem. I contacted local MLA Arun Kumar Sinha and told him about the problem. He gave me assurances but he too forgot to fulfil them like the civic officials.”
The Telegraph failed to contact municipal commissioner Adesh Titarmare despite several attempts.
Asked about measures to plug the pipeline leaks, Shashank Shekhar Sinha, the additional municipal commissioner in-charge, said: “As far as I can recall, the water leak problem in Bahadurpur Housing Colony is only 2-3 months old. How can there be a water leak problem for five years? What you are saying is totally wrong. I know there is problem in one of the points in the colony and the pipe has to be replaced. The problem would be sorted out within a week or a month at the most.”
About the availability of the seal to repair the pipe, Sinha added: “The required seal is very costly. We are trying to manage the funds. We would buy the seal within a month and solve the problem.”
Other residents also echoed that they made every effort to get the problem solved.
Ajay Mishra (33), a social worker residing in the area, said he wrote many letters to PMC. “We informed municipal commissioner Aadesh Titarmare about this problem through MLA Arun Kumar Sinha. But neither did he bother to visit the locality nor was the problem solved,” Mishra said.
“Slum dwellers use the water accumulated on the roads to wash vessels, clothes and other domestic purposes. Many residents even wash their cars with it,” said Bhola Verma, a transporter and a colony resident.