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Wet basement blues at collectorate

The heavy downpour of the past couple of days, which brought much-needed relief from the sweltering heat, has landed the district collectorate in Ranchi in a watery mess.

Employees and visitors entered the lower basement — used for parking vehicles — of the six-storey building near Kutchery Chowk on Wednesday to find it flooded, thanks to a leaking pipeline attached to the rooftop tank that spills over whenever it rains heavily. Left with no other option, people had to park their vehicles at the wet grounds and wade through ankle-deep water to make way to their offices.

This is not the first time that such a problem has occurred at the collectorate though.

According to the employees, the overhead tank, which has the capacity to store 5,000 litres of water, starts spilling during heavy rains. Water then trickles down to the lower basement through a punctured pipeline.

On Wednesday, the problem became so acute that arrangements had to be made to pump out the water. A 1HP pump was pressed into service around 10am and it took the machine more than three hours to make the place dry.

Hemant Kumar, who has been managing the parking lot for two years, said: “By 2pm, the accumulated water was pumped out. This is a very common problem for us. The basement often gets flooded after a day or two of heavy rain.”

He added that every day, water leaks from the pipeline, but the quantity becomes more during constant showers.

Deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey agreed.

“There is some fault in the pipeline due to which water starts leaking and it gets collected at the basement. The problem becomes acute during rain. Though this time we pumped out the water, a permanent solution is needed and we are working on that,” said Choubey.

Rajeev Kumar, who had come to the district collectorate to apply for his driving licence, were among those who returned home with wet socks and shoes.

“As I stepped out of my car, my feet went into the ankle-deep water. Water is the last thing you expect in a parking area! My shoes and socks were all dripping,” he said.

The lower basement of the collectorate building, which came into existence in April 2012, has space for 200 four-wheelers. As many as 700 officials work at the district collectorate, which also sees a footfall of around 2,000 citizens daily.


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