BHUBANESWAR: Heavy rains triggered by a low pressure over Bay of Bengal paralysed normal life in the capital on Sunday. The city, which is already struggling with a poor drainage network, witnessed a number of cases of water logging, choked drains and road mishaps due to craters and potholes in different areas.At least four colonies around the Science Park in Acharya Vihar were submerged by 2.30 pm. Residential areas in the vicinity were completely cut off from the rest of the city for over two hours. A team of the engineering wing of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) rushed to the spot to normalise the situation.
The stretch of drainage channel No-4, which flows from Ekamra Kanan, remains incomplete near Acharya Vihar due to which the internal drains are not able to flow into it. This causes back flow of water and artificial flooding of the low lying areas.“The problem has been left unattended for a long time. The BMC, Water Resources Department, Public Works Department or Drainage division, the authorities have remained indifferent to the concern of the people of the locality,” a local resident Snehasis Das said. The main drain stretching from OUAT area and passing through the Railway Line remained swollen through out the day. The major cause behind it was encroachment and inadequate de-silting, said sources.
The situation was worse at Bairagi Nagar, Jharpada Jail Road, Chintamaniswar and Saswat Vihar and Amrapalli area in Sailashree Vihar. Jagannath Nagar and Canal Road areas in Jharpada and Iskcon Temple locality on NH 16, Shatabdi Nagar in Baramunda also witnessed water logging. Cuttack Road and Bomikhal areas were virtually non-motorable due to artificial flooding which was worsened by the utility works along the main road leading to Kalpana Square.
For timely response to distress calls, the City has been divided into 12 sectors, and each of those is headed by an OAS officer. Junior engineers have been deputed in shifts to keep the Control Room operational throughout the day. Pumpsets, sand bags, cess pools and garbage dump trucks are kept on standby in adequate number to attend to any exigent situation, said sources.
The engineering section has formed 13 quick action squads to attend to emerging situations on priority basis. A coordination meeting was held with all line departments to plan an emergency response system. Help has been sought from the Fire Services to strengthen de-watering arrangements in the city, Municipal Commissioner Dr Krishan Kumar said.
Cuttack denizens struggle in knee-deep water
Cuttack: With the civic authorities yet to chalk out any strategy to check water-logging during heavy rains, the Millennium City of Cuttack continues to struggle with the perennial problem of artificial flooding. Several low-lying areas witnessed extensive water-logging following heavy rain from 8 pm on Sunday. The worst affected areas are Badambadi, Roxy Lane, Pithapur, Rajabagicha, Jhanjir Mangala, Patapola, Friends Colony, Ganga Mandir, Balu Bazaar, Kazi Bazaar, Kesharpur, Gomandia, Samanta Sahi, Tulasipur, Siddheswarsahi, Tanlasahi, Kanika Chhak, Rover Street, Khatbin Sahi, Khan Nagar, Jobra, Aparna Nagar and some parts of Chauliaganj and Madhupatana located in low-lying areas.
Overflowing drain water gushed into houses in the areas making life miserable for the residents who were already facing long hours of power disruption due to the rain. Meanwhile, the residents have blamed Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) for the situation. They alleged that though a majority of the localities of the city face waterlogging during heavy rain every year, the CMC authorities are yet to take the issue seriously and chalk out a permanent strategy to tackle the situation. As many as 45 dewatering motor pump sets have been positioned at different low-lying areas to clear the flooding. The sluice gate near Matrubhawan has been opened to drain out the overflowing main drain, said CMC Commissioner BC Mahapatra.