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FINALLY, RELIEF FROM HEAT

Bhubaneswar May 25: The city, which had been reeling from heatwave conditions over the past few days, breathed a sigh of relief with a low-pressure-induced rain lashing the city since this morning.

Bhubaneswar received an impressive 91.4mm rainfall by 5.30pm. It was higher than the average rainfall of between 60mm and 70mm that the city experiences during monsoon.

A depression over the east central Bay of Bengal on Friday moved in the southwest direction nearing Andaman and Nicobar Islands and turned into a low-pressure zone.

Director of the regional meteorology centre Sarat Chandra Sahu said: “The rain may continue for another 48 hours. The low-pressure-induced system will remain effective more over north Odisha than the south Odisha districts.”

The Met department has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall in coastal Odisha, especially in Mayurbhanj, Jajpur and Dhenkanal districts. After the rain-induced cooling effect, the daytime temperature will again go up after May 29.

Duty officer A.K. Majhi said: “The usual arrival of monsoon clouds over Odisha is June 10. However, the cloud system created due to a low-pressure zone may help in advancing the arrival of the monsoon as the moisture content over the region will go up.”

Nayapalli resident Bijay Mishra said: “The rain has exposed the lack of preparedness on part of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and the public works department in dealing with the rain and waterlogging issues,” he added.

Residents of Amrapalli and Saswat Vihar in Chandrasekharpur faced waterlogging. Accumulated rainwater entered their houses due to the absence of a drainage system in the locality.

Rabindra Kumar Mohanty, president of the Senior Citizens’ Welfare Association of Sailashree Vihar, said: “Last month, we faced serious problems in entering our locality, because the waste water coming from the nearby industrial area was accumulating here. Today, the water even entered our houses.”

Executive engineer of the corporation R.N. Mallick said: “In the past, we received a complaint that the drainage was blocked by a real-estate developer. We took action and a passage was made, so that water could pass. The post-rain situation today will be analysed and action will be taken immediately.”

Water was seen accumulating at many places, including Forest Park, Vani Vihar, Ashok Nagar, some parts of Janpath and low-lying areas of the city such as Bhimatangi, Lakshmisagar, several pockets of Old Town, Nayapalli, Acharya Vihar and Jayadev Vihar.

The corporation’s city health officer Chandrika Prasad Das said: “We have already started the drain de-silting process and the work on the smaller drains will be over by the second week of June.”

Yesterday, the city administration took up a massive demolition drive to remove encroachments from near Acharya Vihar to facilitate diversion of drainage channel No. 4. At Acharya Vihar, the channel causes a flood-like situation every year.