| Students negotiate the water-logged street in Patna City on Tuesday. Pictures by Sachin |
Heavy rain throughout Monday night left several roads and localities in the city waterlogged till Tuesday afternoon, revealing the dismal condition of the drainage system.
Areas such as Rajendra Nagar, Lohanipur, Kankerbagh, Ashiana Road, Nasriganj, Pataliputra, Rajendranagar, Sultanganj, Rukhi Gali, Mangles Tank Road, Chowki Sikarpur area in Patna City.
Though the rain brought much-needed relief from the sultry weather, it punched holes in the tall claims of sewerage improvement by the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC).
Students of Narayani Kanya Madhya Vidyalaya, Guru Gobind Singh School, Marwari High School and Jalan High School in Patna City were spotted clinging to the boundary railings of Mangles Tank to avoid walking through the murky water on way to school. “It is nothing new to us. Whenever its rains heavily, we have to cling to the boundary railings of Mangles Tank to prevent our school uniform from getting dirty or drenched. We need to take a 1.5-km circuitous dry route or this shorter one,” said Chandan Kumar, a Class VII student of Guru Gobind Singh School.
Patna City circle executive officer Ajay Kumar said: “Waterlogging must have taken place owing to non-removal of debris from the ongoing encroachment drive from the road. I will look into the matter and ask the conservancy employees to remove the debris.”
Residents said every monsoon, more than two feet of rainwater accumulates, making it impossible for them to step out of their homes. The manholes, supposed to drain out rainwater, overflow, compounding matters.
The councillor of ward 60 in Patna City, Balram Choudhary, said: “The drainage system is pathetic in the area. Clogged drains have not been cleaned for many years. Even the pumps are defunct. No attempt has been made to repair them. The problem lies with the minimum wages given to the PMC labourers. If their daily wages of Rs 200 are increased marginally, they may do their job properly.”
The Monday night rain was preceded by a thunderstorm, which uprooted trees, snapped power lines and led to breakdowns at most power sub-stations and feeders, which plunged the city into darkness from 12.30am to 4.30am.
The storm, which came at a speed of 32kmph, forced Patna Electricity Supply Undertaking (Pesu) to shut down the 33KV and 11KV feeders.
“Entire Patna was affected by the breakdown owing to heavy rain and thunderstorm. We managed to restore supply once the wind speed slowed down,” said an Pesu official.
The heavy rain and storm claimed the life of thirteen-year-old Chotu Kumar in Sui ki Masjid area in Patna City, when a wall collapsed on him around midnight. Two other family members were seriously injured and had to be admitted to Nalanda Medical College and Hospital.