BHUBANESWAR: The Assembly standing committee on Housing and Urban Development (H&UD) department has taken serious note of the death of a 15-year-old boy in Bhubaneswar, who was swept away on Sunday due to heavy current of the storm water in an open drain due to heavy rains.
The government came in for sharp criticism at the meeting over urban flooding and serious waterlogging in different parts of the Twin City of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
Committee member and Congress MLA from Cuttack-Barabati Mohammad Moquim told mediapersons that the panel expressed shock over the incident. Stating that there is a need for redesigning of drains in both the cities, Moquim said these were found inadequate when Bhubaneswar received 200 mm rainfall in a day.
The members demanded that the drainage system in the two cities particularly the capital city of Bhubaneswar be redesigned keeping in view the changing weather situation. The members also questioned the status of JICA-funded projects in Cuttack city to improve the drainage network.
The committee will meet again on October 5 and hold discussions in the presence of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, Cuttack Municipal Corporation, engineers in-charge of the Drainage department of the two cities and officials of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The panel has asked the H&UD department to come with proposals on ways to improve the drainage system in the cities during the meeting. Taking note of the plight of the people of the two cities last week when there was heavy downpour under the impact of a low pressure system and cyclonic circulation over the Bay of Bengal, the committee members asked the State government to take immediate steps to demolish all unauthorised constructions nearby and over drains which are hindering clearance of storm water.
Senior BJD MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy said officials of the two corporations have been asked to find out ways to address waterlogging and urban flooding in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. The meeting presided over by former minister Prafulla Samal was also attended by BJD MLA from Berhampur Bikram Panda.