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Rain hangover on roads

The first active monsoon weekend left many an upscale area inundated with stinking drains making lives miserable on a cloudy Sunday.

The downpour started late on Friday evening and intermittent rain continued through the night. Saturday morning was also wet and the rainfall continued for almost the entire day with a few breaks. It finally stopped on Saturday evening and the rain gauge at Patna Meteorological Centre had recorded 84.3mm.

However, many areas, including Patliputra, Gardanibagh, Jakkanpur and Rajendra Nagar among others, continued to remain flooded even on Sunday.

Though the overall waterlogging conditions had improved by Sunday morning, the areas were waterlogged because of failure to drain out excess rainwater.

Town planning experts claimed that haphazard and unplanned urbanisation and the absence of a storm water drainage system are the primary reasons behind waterlogging. “Accumulation of rainwater in case of downpour is inevitable as Patna is a saucer-shaped city topographically. On top of that, the development of the city over the years has been done in totally unregulated manner. Also, the entire drainage system is based on small and big drains developed more than 50 years ago,” said R.S. Chaudhary, former chief town planner, urban development and housing department.

Being a low-lying area of the city, Kankerbagh has a history of waterlogging. “Many areas, including PC Colony, Kankerbagh Main Road and Bhoothnath Road among others, were waterlogged even on Sunday. Such conditions prevail every year, whenever it rains. There is a Kankerbagh drainage project, which was supposed to solve the waterlogging problem of this vicinity but the work on it was stopped two years ago,” said Monu Agarwal, a businessman residing in Kankerbagh.

Similarly, residents of Patliputra, one of the upscale localities, were forced to wade through knee-deep water on the streets even on Sunday. Many influential people, including politicians, judges and bureaucrats among others, stay there.

The courts of Bihar Lawn Tennis Association on Road Number 4A in New Patliputra Colony have turned into a swimming pool. “Such conditions prevail almost every year in this neighbourhood during monsoon and hardly any measures are taken to provide instant respite to residents. The drainage lines from this area go to the Nehru Nagar drain, which is clogged at present. Thus, there is no way to drain out water from Patliputra,” said Akhauri B. Prasad, secretary, Bihar Lawn Tennis Association.

Apparently, Patliputra Colony does not come under the ambit of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC). However, residents claim that the district administration is responsible to make the neighbourhood free from waterlogging.

On the other hand, civic body officials claimed that rainwater would be drained from all areas by Monday morning. “We were operating all our pump houses almost continuously from Saturday morning and accordingly water was pumped out from many areas, including Exhibition Road, Boring Road and Patna Station Road among others. However, I accept that there were a few areas like Gardanibagh and Jakkanpur, where waterlogging conditions were seen on Sunday as well. We would send our pumping vehicles on Monday morning and the remaining water would be drained out within a few hours,” said Vishal Anand, executive officer, new capital circle of PMC.

Weathermen claimed that the city was likely to witness comparatively reduced rainfall over the next three to four days. “Though the trough line is still lying over Bihar but it has shifted slightly northward than its earlier position leading to reduced rainfall around central parts of the state, including Patna. The low- pressure area over east Uttar Pradesh is also weakening,” said R.K. Giri, meteorologist at Patna Meteorological Centre.