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New drains to check waterlogging

RAIN MISERY: A stretch near the Iskcon Temple that went under water following heavy rain that lashed Bhubaneswar over the weekend. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar: The civic body will construct seven new drains in different parts of the city after being hounded by severe waterlogging during heavy rain. The decision, when it is implemented, will give relief to people from the continued menace during the rains every year.

The decision was taken during a review meeting of officials on Tuesday in the backdrop of waterlogging in the city that reached alarming levels near Iskcon Temple on the NH-5, and parts of Nayapalli, Acharya Vihar, Old Town and Soubhagya Nagar.

The drains will be constructed at Ananta Vihar in ward No. 62, Dumduma in ward No. 65, Jagannath Vihar in ward No. 24, Bhagwat Sandhan in ward No. 19, Kharavela Nagar in ward No. 42, Ahalya Nagar in ward No. 3 and Chandrasekharur in ward No. 9.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation will spend Rs 9.45 crore on the drain project.

"Several councillors aired their grievances after the waterlogging over the past few days. The areas were selected after a quick analysis and the work will be taken up on priority," said a civic official.

However, residents alleged that the authorities selected areas where the situation was not alarming.

They also alleged that there was no discussion to solve problems in areas reeling from waterlogging.

There was also no discussion on constructing box-type drains that was proposed for Acharya Vihar to divert rainwater to the Natural Drainage Channel No. 4 to save people from waterlogging in the area. Acharya Vihar was selected for the project, sanctioned last year, since it is among the prominent problematic areas.

"It is apathy of the civic administration to select areas where the situation is not that severe. They don't need to show in this manner that they are making attempts to save us. They are just beating around the bush and doing nothing in reality," said Acharya Vihar resident Bhagvat Dash.

Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena, however, refuted the allegations levelled against the civic body and said that they were making all-round efforts to avoid recurrence of water logging in any part of the city in the future.

He said: "The drains will help the residents. We are steadily taking up the job according to the master plan."

To make matters worse, the local meteorological centre here has predicted that there would be little reprieve from the rain for three days since the low-pressure area over Chhattishgarh had intensified.

There are also possibilities of a fresh low pressure formation over the Bay of Bengal around July 21, it said.

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