| Residents wade through inundated Machhli Gali on Thursday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
LANES OF WOES
“There is some
problem with the
system in these
the reason for
Capital circle, Patna Municipal Corporation
de-silting of drains
just before the
rains and left the
As a result, we
— Lallu Bhai,
resident of Machhli Gali
• What are internal drains?
The underground drains
which take the standing
water away from the streets
• What is the problem
with the drains at these
PMC officials claim that the drains in these areas are
the oldest in the city. They
were not properly planned
out when the drains were
constructed 50 years ago.
Most of the drains in these
localities are narrow and
designed to deal with little rain. Also, residents throw garbage into these, choking them
• What could the PMC have done to prevent waterlogging or flush out water?
De-silting, so that rainwater
can be drained out easily
• What is it planning to
Install high-pressure pumps
at strategic locations
Santosh Singh wondered on Thursday how the civic body officials could come to collect taxes on time but unleash dozens of excuses when they have to deliver services like draining out water from streets.
“Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) officials always come on time to collect taxes,” said the Yarpur-based businessman. “But where are they when we need something? Our area gets waterlogged even after a short spell of rain. Why can’t the civic body prevent it?”
Like Singh, hundreds of residents of and visitors to Machchli Gali, Rajputana Colony and Yarpur have been wading through water since the record rain on Monday night and Tuesday morning inundated the streets in these areas in west Patna. Water also gushed into many homes.
Their plight is more poignant because the PMC has been claiming continuously that it would drain out the water fast. On Wednesday, PMC commissioner Kuldeep Narayan had told The Telegraph that the trouble of the residents (because of waterlogging) would be addressed immediately.
There was, however, no improvement on the ground 24 hours later. “The civic body has done little to flush out the water from our homes and the locality,” said Lallu Bhai, a resident of Machhli Gali. “The water has gone down a little but the rate of draining it out has been extremely slow.”
Besides the irritation of walking through dirty water, open manholes are also a cause for concern. “I have a shop in Jaiprakash Nagar (adjacent to Machhli Gali), where there is 2-foot-high water,” said Lallu. “Two women fell into an open manhole yesterday (Wednesday) right in front of my shop and injured their legs. Another person fell into an open manhole in the nearby Chhapra Colony. We wonder who’s next.”
As the residents face problems everyday, the civic officials are busy playing passing the buck game.
Asked the reason for the waterlogging and the inability of the civic body to address it, Ravindra Kumar Verma, chief engineer, PMC, said: “Call up Shashank Shekhar Sinha, the executive officer of the New Capital circle. He can tell you what the problem is.”
Sinha said: “The waterlogging in these areas has persisted because of poor internal drainage system.”
Asked if plugging the outlets of the main drains to the Ganga because of the spate in the river led to waterlogging, he said: “It has nothing to do with closing the sluice gates.”
The PMC commissioner, Narayan, who had promised to drain out the water from these three areas on Wednesday, sounded uncertain on Thursday. Asked why his promise remained unfulfilled, he said: “I shall have to first check out if there is any waterlogging problem in these areas.”
While he goes about checking, the residents will continue to suffer. “It’s disgusting to wade through dirty water,” said Pravin Kumar, a resident of Rajputana Colony. “After coming home last night, my feet were itching.”
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