BHUBANESWAR: Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday said that the drainage channels cannot be covered with slabs as per the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order.
However, the corporation said that it will come up with a long-term action plan to revamp the drainage system to free the capital of urban flooding problems. A 15-year-old boy had died after falling into drainage channel 8(A) on September 20 leading to intense outrage and demands by the political parties for covering all drains of the City.
Municipal Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Singh who had asked engineers to make a fresh assessment of places vulnerable to urban flood said that covering storm water drainage channels is not possible as NGT has directed against covering natural drains.
In 2014, the tribunal in an order to Delhi environment department had said that covering storm water channels will result in increased toxicity and health hazards owing to trapped gases. It also said that if the channels are covered, it would hinder the work of cleaning and identifying chocked drains.
BMC said that temporary barricading will be done around vulnerable drainage points, especially in 13 storm water drainage channels during monsoon to prevent such mishaps. Priority will be given to such points in the 75 locations vulnerable to flooding during the monsoon and heavy rains.
"The entire drainage system will be redesigned and revamped to bolster the city’s drainage system to make it robust so that it could deal with heavy rainfall," the Commissioner said after a review meeting with engineers and senior officers of BMC.
He added that BMC will follow the guidelines of the Supreme Court, National Green Tribunal as well as the State Pollution Control Board while revamping the drainage systems in the city.
The Commissioner also instructed the engineers to find out the cause of water logging in vulnerable areas that were flooded in recent rains. He said that the long-term plan to be worked out will involve land acquisition for widening of the drainage channels.
As BMC has decided to expand drainage channels 7 and 10 on a priority basis to prevent water-logging in New Forest Park and Bairagi Nagar areas, Singh said that BMC will soon submit a proposal to the State government for the acquisition of land for expansion of these channels.