Deluge exposes Cuttack’s dark underbelly again

Rains and water-logging have often dovetailed in the Twin City.

Published: 25th October 2019 07:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th October 2019 07:28 AM   |  A+A-

People pushing a car stuck on a waterlogged road and a woman shifting household items to a safe place after rainwater entered her house in Cuttack | Rashmiranjan

By Express News Service

CUTTACK:  Rains and water-logging have often dovetailed in the Twin City. In Cuttack, incessant rain since Wednesday morning has once again revealed its appalling drainage system. It resulted in overflowing of drains and inundated roads in almost all the low-lying areas of the city. More than 180 residential areas and markets have been flooded with drain water besides halting the traffic movement with knee-deep water inundating connecting roads.

Overflowing drain water has also entered houses in low-lying areas including Patapola, Sutahat, Makarbag Sahi, Baunsagali, Meria Bazar, Kazi Bazaar, Pension Lane, Dhobi Lane, Kesharpur, Deulasahi, Tulasipur, Rajabagicha and Mahanadi Vihar. “We are awake since 4 am after water started entering houses in our locality. We had to move all the household articles to safer places,” said A Chennama, a resident of Dagbarsahi adding that they could not even cook food for their families. The filthy water inside the rooms emanated a foul stench and made the surrounding extremely unhygienic, said a resident of Sutahat New Colony.

A flooded house at Bomikhal in Bhubaneswar
on Thursday | Irfana

Residents have attributed poor drainage system for the situation and blamed the negligence of Cuttack Municipal Corporation(CMC) in desilting and proper cleaning of clogged drains. “The situation has not only exposed the civic body’s half-hearted approach and inefficiency but also belied its tall claims of tackling the city’s water logging problem,” said former corporators Giribala Behera and Arun Sethy. 

However, CMC Commissioner Ananya Das said apart from deploying 17 high power pump sets of Fire Service and 8 sets of JICA-funded Integrated Sanitation Improvement Project, the civic body has engaged 210 de-watering pump sets including 24 Volvo sets to drain out storm water. Sluice gates at Khannagar, Matagajpur, Jobra and Gulguli have been opened for release of drain water,” she added.

The city drainage system has the capacity to drain out water arising out of maximum 50 mm rainfall. But the city received 75 mm rain fall by Thursday 8 am, causing the water logging intensify in low lying localities, she clarified.

Waterlogging cripples Capital
The waterlogging revisited the Capital following incessant rains on Wednesday and Thursday. Exposing the slapdash preparedness of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), rain inundated several parts of the city. Rasulgarh, Bomikhal, Kedar Gouri, Gouri Nagar, New Forest Park and Chandrasekharpur faced heavy water-logging.  Areas like Behera Sai were among the worst affected. In a video that went viral on social media, an elderly man was seen falling due to the gush of the water on a road in the locality. “The elderly man identified as Karu Mangaraj lost his balance and fell on the road as the storm water surrounded him. The locals rushed to his rescue,” said Arjun Behera of the locality.

Residents of Behera Sahi said though drainage channels to carry storm water were cleared, the proposed construction of a drain from Krishna Tower to Damayanti Apartment via Bhoi Sahi in Ward 38 is yet to commence. “Last year, we were on hunger strike for five days demanding to solve the drainage issues in our locality,” Behera said. Similarly, school children could be seen struggling to board the vehicles in Kedar Gouri as the road was inundated. Meanwhile, BMC said the officials visited 63 vulnerable points to take stock of the situation. “Staff along with equipment were deployed at New Forest Park, Kela Basti and Bhagabat Sandhan area to clear the silt from the drains. 

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