Water in Subernarekha flowed above the danger level in Mango at 2pm on Thursday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Residents of low-lying pockets of Jamshedpur woke up to a paradoxical feeling of relief and fear on Thursday, as the shower pause eased inundation, but the two watery lifelines — rivers Subernarekha and Kharkai — remained ravenous as ever.
The spectre of a flash flood rerun lingering, the East Singhbhum district administration on its part stepped up hygiene and sanitation vigil in the vulnerable belt, carrying out a speedy disinfecting drive till late in the afternoon and floating medical teams. The flood control cell has also been instructed to furnish hourly reports on river levels to stem a disaster.
Sources said by 2pm, floodwater had receded in Nai Basti, CP Tola, Somai Jhopri and Baroda Ghat areas of Bagbera, Shiv Ghat, Gari Nawaz Colony and Islam Nagar neighbourhoods of Jugsalai and pockets of Shastrinagar. Kunwar Basti, Old Purulia Road, Sankosai and Hadi Godam in Mango were also on dry run after a very wet spell.
However, the twin rivers continued to flow above their danger levels. While water in Subernarekha was at 122.68 metres in Mango at 2pm, the Kharkai level remained at 132.97 metres in Adityapur. The risk mark of the former is 121.5 metres and the latter 129 metres.
According to a communiqué received from the flood control cell of Subernarekha Multipurpose Project at 1pm, only one sluice gate of Bankabal Dam in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha had been opened. The gates of Silaipeth Dam, also in Mayurbhanj, had remained closed since morning. Chandil Dam, however, continued to spill from its eight gates, releasing around 4,197 cumec (cubic metres per second) of water.
Additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Ganesh Kumar, who is also in-charge of the district disaster management cell, said that affected residents had been relocated to shelters on higher ground.
“The district health department, urban local bodies and NGOs have started sprinkling bleaching powder in low-lying areas and also near the shelters — mostly community centres, halls and schools. We have advised people to remain at these shelters till garbage and muck are cleaned from affected areas,” the ADC added.
Civil surgeon Jagat Bhusan has, meanwhile, constituted two separate teams of health officials and doctors to route regular medicines and emergency drugs to victims. While one team is on round-the-clock vigil at Jugsalai, Bagbera and Shastrinagar, the other has been deputed in Mango.
Though floodwater receded, there was no end to woes for victims in Bagbera. Residents of Nai Basti and Baroda Ghat had to launch a protest to spur the district administration into sending in drinking water tankers.
A functionary of Bagbera Vikas Samiti Subodh Jha said that more than 100 tube wells in the locality were choking on muck and could not be used.
“People were agitated because the administration had not made arrangements for drinking water in inundated areas. It was only after the protest that Jamshedpur circle officer Prabhat Bhusan and Dhalbhum SDO Subodh Kumar sent in a tanker,” Jha added.