BHUBANESWAR: About 75 locations in the Capital are now vulnerable to flooding during monsoon and heavy rains. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) which carried out a fresh assessment of urban flood vulnerability is now planning action plans to revamp the drainage systems for all these points.
In last several years, the corporation had not made any fresh study which only compounded the problems for the city while the civic body remained woefully ill-equipped. The number of vulnerable locations remained static at 27. However, death of the minor boy in a drainage channel and growing outrage has prompted BMC to chalk out a fresh action plan.
BMC Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Singh, who chaired a meeting in this regard on Tuesday, asked the engineers to identify problems in all these vulnerable points and find out permanent solutions for effective management of storm water in the city.
"For immediate solution, short-term plans are being devised. The meeting will continue on Wednesday where the drainage related problems of all the identified places will be discussed at length," said sources.
Focus will be on addressing drainage issues as well as covering drains with slabs at vulnerable locations to prevent any mishap, said an officer present at the meeting.In 2006, BMC had planned a GIS-based management plan for urban flooding but it was never put into action.
Long-term plans are also being taken up which will involve land acquisition for widening of the drainage channels. The National Green Tribunal order on restriction on construction on natural drainage channels will be taken into account while devising the plans.
Meanwhile, BMC has decided to expand drainage channels 7 and 10 on a priority basis to prevent waterlogging in New Forest Park and Bairagi Nagar areas. The civic body had planned to go ahead with land acquisition for partial widening of drainage channels 6, 7 and 8 for storm water management.
It has, however, now decided to place a proposal before the State government for acquisition of land for expansion of channels 7 and 10.Following the torrential rain in the city last week, drain water had entered houses in the thickly populated New Forest Park and Bairagi Nagar areas.
Besides, a portion of the retaining wall of channel 10 in Bairagi Nagar collapsed following heavy rains triggering panic among the residents. "We have decided to seek government permission for land acquisition in 500-metre stretch in the New Forest Park area for expansion of the drainage channel 7 while a proposal will also be placed for land acquisition in Bairagi Nagar for widening of channel 10 to prevent flooding in both the areas," said an engineer of the BMC drainage division.