Tuesday, May 26, 2009

CM holds meet for tackling waterlogging problem

PATNA: The south-west monsoon hitting the Kerala coast a week earlier and the pre-monsoon rain in the city, alerted the government on Monday as
CM Nitish Kumar held a meeting on urban issues with emphasis on tackling the waterlogging problem in Patna this monsoon.

After the meeting, urban development secretary Deepak Kumar held a meeting with Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) commissioner K Senthil Kumar and other officials and moved into the field to assess the preparedness to tackle the waterlogging problem this monsoon.

The monsoon reaches Bihar 12-15 days after hitting the Kerala coast. As it hit the Kerala coast a week earlier this year, it may reach Bihar a week earlier. This had perhaps upset the calculation of the PMC which has many tasks to perform before the monsoon.

The tasks to be performed by the PMC, in coordination with Bihar Rajya Jal Parshad and other agencies, includes desiltation of drains, removal of encroachments over drains, making functional some of the sump houses, and coordinate with the road construction department to link the drain boxes under construction with the main drains.

The PMC has also to place garbage collection boxes at different garbage points in Patna so that they do not mix with rain water. During the last monsoon (2008), citizens of Patna had a nightmarish experience due to mixing of garbage with the water logged on roads following more than normal rain. Even the Patna High Court had remarked then (2008) that this has created a slum like situation in the city. Urban development minister Bhola Prasad Singh had triggered a controversy with his remarks after the publication of the HC remark.

Now that Bhola has been elected MP, the CM held review meeting to discuss urban matters in which deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi was also present.

Urban development secretary Deepak Kumar told TOI that desiltation of the drains in the city has already been done. He added that the sump house in Kadamkuan would be made functional in 2-3 days and other sump houses are in good shape. All measures have been taken to clean the drains though some works were yet to be done by the National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) in Kankerbagh locality. This would be taken care of by taking emergency measures to clean the drains to prevent waterlogging, he said.

A resident of Bhadurpur, Anand Verma, said that the drain underneath the TV Tower Road was desilted, but the silt was left on the road. Due to rain on Monday, the silt mixed with rain water and went back into the drain. He added that the NBCC had not completed the work of making concrete drains, whose diameter has been enhanced, but they are open at different points.

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