Waterlogging: CM looking for out-of- box solution | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Waterlogging: CM looking for out-of- box solution

punjab Updated: Nov 20, 2013 23:25 IST
Kamaldeep Singh Brar

After the authorities failed in employing simplest of the techniques like laying of surface drains to solve the problem of waterlogging, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has now been telling people of his constituency that World Bank (WB) can provide some 'out of the box' technical support to address the problem in the region.

While touring villages affected by waterlogging in his home constituency Lambi, as part of sangat darshan on Wednesday, Badal told affected people that he had recently sought technical support from the experts of WB to save the people from the fury of floods, besides permanently solving the problem of waterlogging in the area on priority.

However, it is not the first time the CM had assured people on solving this problem.

Around 16 years back when he became chief minister for third time in 1997, Badal had established drainage circle, Gidderbaha, to tackle waterlogging problem in the district with promise to eradicate the problem.

However, recently a report submitted by the panel headed by chief minister's technical adviser Lt Gen BS Dhaliwal (retd) suggested that his officials failed to lay technically sound surface drains to drain out water accumulated all these years.

Laying surface drains is among the simplest of techniques to combat waterlogging. However, paths of these drains were diverted against the drain engineering to please political powerful farmers who did not want the drain to pass through their fields.

Mammoth earth-moving machines were imported all the way from Holland to Muktsar to lay sub-surface drains. However, these remained unused due to shortage of funds for long time.

Technique of laying sub-surface drains originally belongs to Holland where ground level is lower than the sea level. People of Holland invented the sub-surface drainage system and machines for the purpose to reclaim more and more area from sea.

Anyways, his engineers again trusted one of the basic technique -- laying surface drains -- and proposed to almost double the capacity of the existing drainage system as part of mammoth financial plan of `3,327 crore, which has been submitted to the central government for the purpose.

Badal told people that the six-member World Bank delegation led by the task team leader, Srinivasa Rao Podi P Reddy, met him at Patiala on Wednesday to apprise him of the progress of the ongoing WB project on potable drinking water and sanitation in the state.

In the same meeting, the CM asked the World Bank mission to help the state in suggesting a time-tested technology to bail people of this belt out of the crisis.

It remains to be seen if people in the CM's home district would buy the idea of asking World Bank for 'technical support' or would it just be another political technique to pacify people who had faced huge
devastation due to waterlogging in monsoon this year.