Unsafe drain construction sites pose risk to residents in Odisha

WATCO continues to carry out drain construction work in the city without adhering to safety protocols, thereby putting the lives of residents at risk.
Sources said residents of Sutahat including school students are forced to cross the construction site precariously by walking on iron pipes.
Sources said residents of Sutahat including school students are forced to cross the construction site precariously by walking on iron pipes. Photo | Express

CUTTACK: WATCO seems to have learnt no lesson from the past mishaps as it continues to carry out drain construction work in the city without adhering to safety protocols, thereby putting lives of residents at risk.

A glaring example is the construction site at Sutahat which poses threat to the local residents. Sources said the drainage division of WATCO is reconstructing a portion of the main storm water channel-1 stretching around 120 metre from Odia Bazaar to Sutahat.

As per the plan, the private agency engaged by WATCO has started work on erection of sidewall on the drain by putting precast concrete slabs to facilitate communication and prevent dumping of garbage and solid waste materials. However, the agency is reportedly carrying out the work without any safety measure and in violation of the SOP issued by the Cuttack Municipal Corporation.

Sources said residents of Sutahat including school students are forced to cross the construction site precariously by walking on iron pipes. “There is no barricading or at least a bamboo structure which would have served as a support for residents while walking on the iron pipes. After rains, the pipes get slippery and walking on these is a risky affair,” said a resident who also urged the civic authorities to put in place adequate safety measures at the construction site.

Notably, after occurrence of several mishaps and loss of three lives, the CMC had convened a meeting of the officials of all line departments and instructed them to ensure that safety measures are put in place at the construction sites. However, the agencies are reportedly carrying out works without adhering to the safety protocols due to lack of inspection by the civic authorities. CMC commissioner Bijay Kumar Dash said he has already instructed the officials of WATCO’s drainage division to go for barricading at the construction sites.

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