|An NCC cadet gets drenched in the rain on Wednesday afternoon and (above) water near the flag podium at Gandhi Maidan. Pictures by Deepak Kumar
The favourable position of the monsoon trough line triggered 66.4mm rainfall in the city till 5.30pm on Wednesday, casting a shadow on the state’s official Independence Day programme at Gandhi Maidan on Friday.
The downpour flooded the venue of the programme. Water accumulated at the place where chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi is supposed to unfurl the Tricolour. The space earmarked for the parade and tableaux exhibition was also waterlogged.
Weatherman attributed the downpour in the city and the remaining parts of the central Bihar to the favourable position of the monsoon trough line. They claimed that most parts of the state would receive good rainfall over the next one week.
The Met office has issued very heavy rainfall alert in northwest Bihar.
“Central and western parts of Bihar received moderate to heavy rainfall on Wednesday because of the monsoon trough line lying over the central Bihar region. It is expected to reach the foothill of Himalayas by tomorrow (Thursday) morning. Very heavy rainfall is expected over north-west Bihar on Thursday and Friday,” said Ashish Sen, director, Patna Meteorological Centre.
Sen said the central and western parts of the state would continue to receive light to moderate rainfall over the next three to four days.
The Wednesday’s rainfall threw a challenge to the authorities gearing up for a colourful Independence programme at Gandhi Maidan in the city. It would be tough for the district administration to keep the arena dry in case of further rain in the next 48 hours. The Wednesday showers did not hamper the full dress rehearsal though. As many as 16 contingents, including Bihar Regiment, CRPF, CISF, SSB, STF, BMP, district police, home guard, SAP, NCC, Scouts and Guides, dog squad and fire brigade, took part in it.
Asked about the steps being taken to keep the Maidan dry for the D-Day, Patna divisional commissioner N. Vijaya Lakshmi, who heads the committee responsible for the upkeep and beautification of Gandhi Maidan, told The Telegraph: “Adequate sand is being spread over the waterlogged areas. But if it continues to rain heavily, it would be really difficult to keep the arena dry because the sand would be washed away.”¯
She said: “As far as pumping out the accumulated water is concerned, we have placed adequate number of pumps to drain out water from Gandhi Maidan. But everything is not in our hands. We have to keep our fingers crossed and pray to God that there should not be heavy rainfall on Independence Day. The district administration is doing its best.”¯
The VIP area, from where the family members of bureaucrats and senior officers would watch the I-Day programmes, has been covered with waterproof sheets.
Despite 66.4mm precipitation in the city on Wednesday, the rainfall deficiency in Patna dropped by just 4 per cent. The deficiency stood at 44 per cent on Tuesday. On Thursday, it came down to 40 per cent.
The rainfall deficiency of the state, on the other hand, came down by only one per cent and stood at 27 per cent.