Baroda Ghat in Bagbera, Jamshedpur, remains flooded on Friday morning. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Friday premiere. Misery Manmade sequel in Bagbera, Jamshedpur.
Nearly 50 households and a primary school in Baroda Ghat neighbourhood on the eastern fringes of the steel city continued to grapple with that sinking feeling till late in the afternoon, thanks to an illegal boundary wall blocking the area’s drainage lifeline.
After a let-up in the 72-hour downpour, floodwater started receding from low-lying areas on Thursday, except for Baroda Ghat, where the new boundary wall of an apartment complex is encroaching on the 132-feet-long nullah that drains water to the Kharkai from several densely populated localities.
According to Bagbera Vikas Samiti functionary Subodh Jha, Adityapur-based builder Heaven India Real Tech Limited had raised the wall.
“Boundary isi saal banaya gaya hai. Jal nikasi ka rasta bandh ho gaya jis ke chalte pani jama ho kar rah gaya. Sab jagah se pani nikal gaya, lekin Baroda Ghat ke 50 gharon se pani nikal nahi paya hai (The boundary wall was constructed this year and has blocked drainage, which in turn is causing inundation. Water has receded from other areas, but from 50 households in Baroda Ghat),” Jha added.
A government cradle in the neighbourhood — Prathamik Vidyalaya Pradhantola — that has 150-odd students on its rolls too had remained a feet under water till Friday morning.
“The rear side of the school, which houses toilets, was flooded. Children could not take a break the whole day. We informed Dhalbhum SDO Subodh Kumar and he asked the Jugsalai Municipality special officer to arrange for suction pumps,” said Kishore Yadav, a local resident and good Samaritan who conducted a bleaching powder drive on the school premises after water was pumped out.
Asked about the plight of the rest of Baroda Ghat, Jugsalai Municipality special officer Sitaram Singh said they were arranging for two more suction pumps to drain water from homes. “We are doing our best,” he added.
Local residents, on their part, lodged their gripe at Bagbera police station against the encroachment of the drain.
“We have received a written complaint from residents about inundation owing to construction of a boundary wall and sand-filling on both sides of the nullah. I will forward the complaint to Jamshedpur circle officer Prabhat Bhusan for a probe,” said officer-in-charge Shailendra Kumar.
Written complaints from Baroda Ghat have also reached the offices of East Singhbhum deputy commissioner and Dhalbhum SDO.
“When we had raised objection during construction of the wall, the builder had promised to repair the nullah. Nothing has been done so far,” SDO Jha conceded.
Jamshedpur circle officer Prabhat Bhusan, who is in Ranchi for a meeting, promised a probe. “If the charges are true, the wall will be pulled down,” he said.
Supervisor of Heaven India Jayant Kumar Singh denied allegations. “We have not encroached on the nullah. However, on public demand, we have agreed to construct a subsidiary channel linked to the main to drain water,” he said.
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