Rain early on Monday morning led to waterlogging at least three localities under the civic body even as a private co-operative society relived its monsoon trauma like every year.
The Telegraph found Station Road, Rajeev Nagar and Shastri Nagar inundated after rain lashed Patna from 4.45am. The rest of the city wards, under the jurisdiction of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC), remained relatively dry, but residents who had to access these three areas were in a world of misery.
“I almost fell on Station Road today (Monday). One of the tyres of my two-wheeler got stuck in an open manhole and I lost my balance.” said 44-year-old Mahesh Kumar Verma.
PMC officials, however, did not admit parts of the city were waterlogged.
Shashank Shekhar Sinha, executive officer, New Capital circle, PMC, said: “There was no waterlogging on Station Road. Heavy rainfall caused some water to accumulate on either sides of the road but the sump house on SP Verma Road soon helped to flush it out.”
While he also denied that the Shastri Nagar area was waterlogged, Sinha did concede to partial waterlogging in Rajeev Nagar.
A ward councillor said: “Every year you will see PMC officials taking precautionary measures before monsoon, be it de-silting of drains or carrying out maintenance work but late. That is the reason why residents have to face problems like waterlogging. It can be prevented in various parts of Patna if the PMC carries out maintenance work of the sump houses, which has not been done in years.”
Executive officer Sinha agreed. “It has been seven to eight years that the sump houses have not undergone maintenance. We are soon going to take it up,” he said.
Another councillor said: “A lot of money has been spent but most of it has been on paper only.”
A PMC official said the civic body has spent around Rs 1 crore on de-silting drains this year. That is much more than what the residents of Patliputra Colony can expect.
Patliputra Co-operative Society, which looks after the civic amenities of the locality, pleads helplessness every year to fight waterlogging. It, however, remains one of the worst hit areas in the city after a spell of rain, every time.
Monday was no different. Several schools in the area were closed. Rainwater entered hospitals, including Sahyog Hospital, hampering work.
Anand Kumar, a 35-year-old resident of Patliputra Colony, said: “Rainwater entered my home today (Monday). I requested the Patliputra Co-operative Society members to take steps to drain out the water, but in vain.”
Rajendra Jha, a member of the society, said: “We have only two pumps in our society to flush out the water. The water pumps were installed around 25 years ago to cater to 300 houses in the area. But the number of houses has now increased to 5,000. How can it cater to such a big population?”
Society secretary A.K. Sinha said: “A heavy amount of silt is deposited in the drains of Raja Pul area. As they are connected to our drainage network, the accumulated rainwater cannot be flushed out until the silt is removed. I have written many letters to the PMC but they have not paid heed to our problems.”
But the members still would not want to come under the PMC’s ambit.
Sinha said: “We know the PMC would not be able to handle the civic works of our locality. Even today, we can say that our locality’s condition is much better than other areas under PMC. The waterlogging, too, occurs in our locality, because of the wrong steps taken by PMC. It has made the main road one-and-a-half feet higher because of which our locality has become a low-lying area.”