BHUBANESWAR: As the cyclonic circulation threatens downpour over the next three days, the State administration is on a prayer mode.
With patchy and poor quality work from roads to drainage already haunting it, the Government is fervently hoping that Rath Yatra remains a rainless affair on Saturday. For a heavy shower could expose the sloppy infrastructure works being completed in the last minute.
The signs are already there with a short spell of rain already causing heavy waterlogging on the Grand Road which would host the chariots of The Trinity along with millions of devotees on Rath Yatra.
A lot of freshly constructed drainage and sewerage lines, which have been left uncovered, could pose a serious danger because every inch would be occupied on Saturday.
In the event of heavy downpour, the Grand Road would be clogged. Worse, the storm water would flood the district headquarters hospital area and would need immediate evacuation. Although the administration is in a tizzy and trying to complete the works during the next 24 hours, a lot could go wrong if the weather does not remain dry.
The India Meteorological Department said the cyclonic circulation is expected to turn into a low pressure but move in north-east direction towards Bangladesh coast before turning back towards Bengal coast.
In the process, fairly widespread rain is expected at some places of the State from Friday onwards. “However, northern and interior pockets are likely to receive heavy showers but for coastal pockets, including Puri, there is prediction for intermittent showers on Rath Yatra day,” Director, IMD, Odisha, S C Sahu said.
This is what the administration would be counting on because a heavy downpour could trigger a crisis.
To tackle the severe waterlogging on Grand Road caused by heavy showers, a contingency plan has been put in place. The Fire Services Wing of State Police has deployed 30 pumps in the Pilgrim Town half of which will be placed along Bada Danda.
Each pump has a capacity of pumping at least 1,600 litres to 1,800 litres per minute. “With such heavy arrangement, we will be able to pump out storm water from Grand Road if the necessity arises,” ADGP, Fire Services, M Nageswar Rao said.