|(Top) Schoolchildren wade through a waterlogged street at Jhola Sahi in Cuttack and vehicles ply through Acharya Vihar road in Bhubaneswar on Monday. Pictures by Badrika Nath Das and Sanjib Mukherjee
Bhubaneswar/Cuttack, Aug 4: Normal life was thrown out of gear as heavy rain triggered by a low-pressure system formed in the Bay of Bengal lashed the twin cities for the second consecutive day here on Monday.
In the past 33 hours, while Cuttack received 97.6mm rainfall, Bhubaneswar’s share was 74mm.
The well-marked low pressure now lies centred near Midnapore in Bengal and is moving towards north-west Odisha.
As heavy rain lashed Cuttack in the morning, most of the private English medium schools remained closed. Colleges and other educational institutions in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar recorded thin attendance.
Low-lying areas in Cuttack including Patapola, new Rausapatna, Kesharpur, Pithapur, Sikharpur, Gahmandia, Samantsahi remained waterlogged till late in the afternoon.
Local residents apprehend severe waterlogging conditions as the local office of the Indian Meteorology Department has forecast more rain over the next 24 hours. Adding to the worry, both the major rivers in Cuttack — Mahanadi and Kathajodi — are now in spate.
An official of the Cuttack Municipal Corporation also admitted the problems in clearing wastewater due to the flow of excess floodwater into the Kathajodi and the Mahanadi.
“There have been problems in discharge of rainwater, while 80 pumps have been deployed at various places to flush out the water from several areas. Three high-power motorpumps have also been installed at Matrubhavan and one at Khannagar sluice gate,” said collector Girish S.N.
“Waterlogging is certainly an area of concern for people like us staying in the low-lying areas. The administration should initiate measures to ensure that there is no obstruction in the drainage channels,” said Buxi Bazar resident Srinivas Rao.
Commuters also had to face difficulties as they waded through knee-deep waters that accumulated on several prominent streets. The situation was worse at Jhola Sahi, Nandi Sahi, Badambadi, Meria Bazar, Kanika Chak, Tulasipur and other areas.
“The traffic had almost come to a standstill at Nandi Sahi due to waterlogging. Motorists faced problems moving towards Choudhry Bazar, especially those coming from the Jhola Sahi-side,” said Ansuman Ghose, a commuter.
While the residents in the low-lying areas in Cuttack suffer, the Mundali barrage across the Mahanadi recorded flow of 8.88 lakh cusec of water at 2.30pm.
Sources in the water resources department, however, said that the water flow might reach 10 lakh cusec by 10pm. It may also rise with the opening of sluice gates at the Hirakud reservoir on the Mahanadi near Sambalpur.
Water resources secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, however, added that the floods in the Mahanadi system would be under control and there should not be any flooding in the twin cities.
In 2012, Sundarpada and Rasulgarh on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar went underwater because of floods in the Mahanadi.
In Bhubaneswar, low-lying areas, including Acharya Vihar, Rasulgarh, GGP Colony, Sriram City, Bomikhal, Laxmisagar and Old Town, are facing major problems because of the incessant rain.
“Renovation work for diversion of the Acharya Vihar drainage channel No. 4 will be started by the water resources department once electric poles are shifted and the forest department cuts the trees,’’ said Bhubaneswar mayor Ananta Narayan Jena.