Bhubaneswar/Cuttack, May 26: Incessant rains over the past 36 hours in the twin cities have got numerous choked drains overflowing and exposed the authorities’ ill-preparedness to deal with the monsoon.
With Bhubaneswar receiving 147.6mm rainfall and Cuttack 139mm, many areas in Laxmisagar, Bomikhal, GGP Colony, Bhimatangi, Old Town, Saoubhagya Nagar and Old Baramunda village under the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) remained waterlogged.
Almost all big and small drainage channels are choked and this has got the residents worried.
Prabir Das, who is an advocate in the Orissa High Court and a resident of Bhoumanagar, said: “The drainage channel No. 4 is choked and is causing serious waterlogging. No one pays any attention to this serious problem.”
Pointing out that the neglect on part of the civic body has not only polluted the local environment and helped breed mosquitoes, but when it rains heavily, water enters the houses. “This happened in our colony yesterday.”
Former Bhimatangi councillor Chhabindra Jena said: “The road connecting Bhimatangi with Pokhariput was constructed in 2008, but the stretch near Lingaraj passenger halt becomes waterlogged every year and neither the BMC nor the public works department are taking steps to solve the problem.
Weekly demolition drive
BMC commissioner Krishan Kumar said: “As a short-term measure, a weekly action plan involving demolition of encroachments along the 10 drainage channels across the city is likely to start from next week. Rainwater can flow easily if the obstacles are removed.”
He said renovation of drainage channels is in progress for which the drainage division of the water resources department is working.
“The land acquisition process, however, has become a major headache with people not coming forward to give land for the renovation work,” he said.
Though the overall waterlogging conditions had improved in the afternoon, several localities such as Sidheswar Sahi, Pithapur and Sikharpur remained waterlogged owing to blockage in the drainage channels at several points.
Senior officials of the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) said that due to the ongoing construction work of the integrated sanitation project under the assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency, several localities faced waterlogging problems.
Though steps were taken to clear the blockages at Khannagar sluice gates following the heavy rain triggered by the low pressure yesterday, there was no change in the overall waterlogging situation owing to the certain blockages in the natural drainage at Matrubhawan sluice gate.
Senior CMC officials including mayor Anita Behera and CMC commissioner Gyanaranjan Das and other engineers visited the spot and ordered immediate clearance of obstruction at Matrubhawan sluice gate here today.
“We had found obstruction at Matrubhawan sluice gate, and with the help of Odisha Disaster Mitigation Authority, the blockages were cleared today and we hope the waterlogging situation in some localities will improve by this evening,” said CMC commissioner Gyanaranjan Das.