BHUBANESWAR: Faced with a barrage of criticism over the unprecedented flooding of the Capital, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) finally got down to work to chart a definitive course of action for solving the water-logging problem in the city. The civic body on Wednesday announced that repair and renovation works on the existing main drains will be undertaken on a war-footing even as top officials, including BMC Commissioner Dr Krishan Kumar, visited different areas to take stock of the situation and determine area-specific remedial measures.
Kumar, with a team of senior officials from BMC and BDA, visited Ward No. 4 comprising Pahala and Ward No. 19 covering Bhagabat Sandhan. At Bhagabat Sandhan, the team found that the existing drain, which carries water up to Gangua, was constricted to a mere 3 feet from its original width of 15 to 20 feet. Rampant encroachment was found to be blocking the flow of water in the area. The Drainage Division has been asked to prepare a detailed report within a week and execute the work immediately to ensure proper disposal of water from Bhagabat Sandhan to Gangua .
It has been decided that the area, where the drain is squeezed, will be widened after acquisition of land from private owners. Similarly, in Pahala, many establishments were found to be blocking flow by constructing roads to connect the National Highway. Appropriate action will be taken and sealing notice will be issued if the constructions are found not to have received requisite approvals, the civic authorities said.
Meanwhile, the worst-affected locality of Acharya Vihar on Wednesday received a ray of hope with the Housing and Urban Development department approving construction of a box cell storm water drain connecting Drainage Channel No.4 at a cost of `5.5 crore. The department informed BMC that approval of the tender proposal for the work, submitted by the civic body on July 11, has been approved.
After construction of this box cell storm water drain, rain water will get discharged smoothly in Acharya Vihar area, BMC officials said, adding that earlier Cuttack Drainage Division had started the work of the box drain over a 570-metre stretch at a cost of `10 crore. However, after completion of a portion, the work was transferred to BMC’s Drainage Division.
The BMC Division will now complete the remaining 377 metres of the box drain on priority. Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena also informed that the BMC will overhaul the 12 existing main drains on a war footing along with execution of the construction of seven new ones announced on Tuesday. In its bid to deflect public attention, the BMC had made an announcement on the new projects but found itself in soup again as none of those were in anyway connected to the a r e a s s u f f e r i n g a c u t e water-logging.