| Salamat Nagar residents use bamboo structures and inflatable tubes to commute in waterlogged Katihar town. Pictures by Devashish |
Waterlogging continues to haunt residents almost throughout the year in several areas owing to the alleged laxity of the civic body
To make matters worse, the menace is not seasonal. The problem persists for almost eight months in a year affecting localities like Salamat Nagar, Prem Nagar, Mohanidhar, Larkanea, Kulipada, Sarifganj and Anathalaya Road. All these areas fall under the jurisdiction of the Katihar Municipal Corporation.
Children in these localities find it difficult to attend schools apart from facing problems in playing outdoors as most of the open spaces remain waterlogged.
A population of nearly 25,000 has been affected by the menace. People have to wade through knee-deep water for daily work.
Residents, however, blame the civic body for its reluctance to solve their woes.
Salamat Nagar resident Mohammad Firoz Kureshi told The Telegraph: “We face waterlogging for eight months of the year. There is no drainage system here and the civic body does not even try to pump out water from these areas. We pay holding tax to the government but it does not pay heed to our problems.”
Residents of other localities echoed similar sentiments.
Katihar mayor Vijay Singh, however, put the blame on residents. “These are low-lying areas but people built their houses after filling up the pond-like water bodies and whatever drains were there were also filled up with soil,” he said.
Singh said: “The areas remain inundated as the water from the railway yard is also discharged in these areas and there is no outlet. Despite these problems, we used to send our teams to pump out the water but residents do not help us.” The mayor, however, maintained that steps would be taken to drain out the accumulated water from the affected areas. “We would press five pumps into service by tomorrow (Friday) so that water could be drained out soon,” he added.
Katihar district magistrate Prakash Kumar said the district administration would provide all possible help to alleviate the problems of the residents.