The ghosts of August 4 and 5, 2007 almost came back to haunt the Millennium City on Friday when a heavy spell of rain triggered massive water-logging and inundation across major parts.
The downpour that lasted for a couple of hours in the noon bringing in rainfall of about 56.6 mm left vast stretches in pools. Low-lying areas of Pithapur, Patapol, Gamhadia, Friends’ Colony, Sutahat, Rausapatna, Badambadi labour colony, Ganga Mandir, Thoria Sahi, Buxi Bazaar, Kesharpur, Mangalabag, Police Colony, Mahandi Vihar and CDA Markatnagar were the worst hit. Even the Orissa High Court suffered massive water-logging on its premises.
With roads and thoroughfares in all the major areas remaining under water for long hours after the rains subsided, fingers have begun to be pointed at the failure of the civic administration in completing the drain cleaning and desilting works before the monsoon this year.
“There used to be water-logging on the roads during rains but the water used to flow through the drains within a short time. This year, the water has stayed on due to choked drains which have not been desilted,” said Trilochan Das of Mangalabag.
While the administration admitted that the drain cleaning work this year was less than satisfactory, it, however, dished out other reasons for the situation.
An obstruction has been created on the Main Storm Water Channel by the JICA project work that has blocked flow to Kathjodi river through Khan Nagar gate. The blockage has pushed back the water to the city again causing the waterlogging, CMC officials said.
“We have called a meeting with Chief Engineer JICA project on Saturday to discuss the issue and remove the obstruction.
To clear the water from the inundated areas, as many as 140 pumps have been deployed. More would be put into operation if need arises. We are keeping a close watch and are ready to deal with any eventuality,” said Commissioner Nihar Ranjan Mohapatra.