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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Bihar floods: Defunct sump houses made things ugly in Patna

The main sump house of NBCC and the 38 sump houses in the Patna municipal area were not in a position take the sudden load of severe water logging.

patna Updated: Oct 02, 2019 12:35 IST
Arun Kumar and Subhash Pathak
Arun Kumar and Subhash Pathak
Hindustan Times, Patna
Rescue operations in Rajender Nagar, Patna.
Rescue operations in Rajender Nagar, Patna.(A P Dube/HT Photo)
         

Despite bright sunshine all through Tuesday and no rain in the last 36 hours, people continued to suffer in the worst-affected Rajendra Nagar and Kankarbagh localities as water refused to recede despite showing signs of improvement in other localities.

Reason: The main sump house of NBCC under Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (BUIDCO) in Jogipur, Kankarbagh and others at Saidpur and Sandalpur were not working properly, while many of the 38 sump houses in the Patna municipal area were not in a position take the sudden load of severe water logging.

“Had the sump houses worked at their full capacity to pull stormwater, things could have been better. The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) gets all the brickbats, but the fact is that none of the sump houses is under its control. They are all handled by BUIDCO,” said a ward councillor.

It was only on Tuesday evening that one of pumps at the NBCC sump house could be somehow made functional. “Had the NBCC sump house worked to its full capacity during the last two days, water level would have reduced significantly by now in Kankarbagh. We even requested for breaking the culvert at Jaganpura, but it was not accepted,” said ward councillor Sanjeet Kumar.

BUIDCO MD Amarendra Prasad Singh said one of the three pumps at the NBCC sump House had been working, while the second started working Tuesday evening. “Now it is working at full capacity and water level should recede fast,” he said.

According to a senior official, the transformer at the sump house burnt on Sunday evening and it was repaired on Monday, but it conked again. “Two of the three pumps were out of order and now two of them are functional. Let’s hope they work. If they do, water from Kankarbagh areas will fast recede,” he said, adding that water level of Rajendra Nagar localities came down by six inch and one feet in Kankarbagh till Tuesday afternoon.

Another ward councillor said the top officials were at the sump house to make four of the five pumps functional Tuesday afternoon, raising hopes that people could now get respite.

What confounded the problem further was the choked sewage and drainage. On paper, work on 10 sewage and storm projects have been in advanced stage of completion, but when it rained heavily after due alert from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), nothing seemed to work.

Patna municipal commissioner Amit Kumar Pandey said electric powered sump installed at Saidpur had been restored along with another couple of pumps with 250 hp each to pump out the stagnant stormwater. “Drains passing through Rajiv Nagar, Kurji and SK Nagar have been cleared of silt and stops to remove water from north-west localities of the capital, while sumps at Jogipur are throwing water out of Kankarbagh localities,” said Pandey.

Meanwhile, chief minister Nitish Kumar is learnt to have got angry with senior officials for not making required preparations for rescue operations.

Meteorologist Prof Pradhan Parth Sarthi, associate professor and former head, department of environment science, CUSB, said that the IMD had a good job and forecast powerful thunderstorm activity specially focused over south west sector of Bihar.

He said that in the past also, parts of Bihar had received good amount of rainfall in September. “Such rainfall activity over Bihar is not unusual and cannot be related to climate change which needs long-term data. The severe waterlogging in Patna is a case of urban flooding which arises due to unplanned urban development,” he said

First Published: Oct 02, 2019 12:35 IST

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