Bathinda turns Venice after downpour, residents bring out boat in protest – chandigarh


Bathinda: Residents of Parasram Nagar in Bathinda took to boating on inundated streets in protest against the municipal corporation’s ill-preparedness in resolving the problem of waterlogging during the monsoon every year.

Led by Vijay Kumar Sharma, a former municipal councillor, the residents made their way on a boat and waded through waist-deep water and said the authorities had not learnt a lesson from last year’s monsoon when parts of the city had remained inundated for days.

“Residents of six localities, including Parasram Nagar, are low-lying and bear the brunt of flooding. There is no accountability of officials and elected representatives as residents continue to suffer,” Kumar said.

The flooded Power House Road in Bathinda on Tuesday.

The flooded Power House Road in Bathinda on Tuesday.
(
Sanjeev Kumar/HT
)

INCESSANT RAIN TO BLAME

The Punjab Agricultural University’s local observatory at the regional research Centre recorded 104 mm of rainfall in Bathinda on Tuesday.

Agrometeorology scientist Raj Kumar Pal said in July, Bathinda has already received 214 mm of rainfall against the average rainfall of 120 mm.

It rained incessantly since midnight, inundating many parts of the city.

Several localities such as the area around the district administrative complex that houses the official residences of the deputy commissioner, inspector general of police (IGP) and judicial officials were under three feet of water.

Residential pockets in Sirki Bazaar area, on Mall Road, Power House Road besides Parasram Nagar, Ganesha Basti and Vir Colony were among the worst hit.

“A single spell of heavy rain exposes the unpreparedness of the authorities. Though Sirki Bazaar is in the heart of the city, it is prone to waterlogging due to lack of maintenance,” says Rinku, who deals in paints.

The railway under bridge at Amarpura basti after heavy rain in Bathinda on Tuesday morning.

The railway under bridge at Amarpura basti after heavy rain in Bathinda on Tuesday morning.
(
Sanjeev Kumar/HT
)

COVID FIGHT TAKES TOLL ON MAINTENANCE

Officials say Bathinda also lacks a dedicated storm water drainage network and sewage lines are used to drain rainwater. They blame the Covid-19 outbreak behind the slow progress of maintenance before the monsoon.

“Haphazard development in the last decade has left little room for the wastewater disposal system. Bathinda’s geographical condition is such that rainwater accumulates only at certain natural depressions. Due to mushrooming residential and commercial spaces, the corporation has to use high-powered pumps to drain rainwater out of streets,” said an MC official.

Deputy commissioner B Srinivasan said the administration has taken steps to expedite rainwater drainage. He said two ponds with a water holding capacity of 1.5 lakh metric cubic metre were opened at Mansa road and Sanjay Nagar. Another old pond near DAV College that has been reworked to store 1.25 lakh cubic metres of water is in the works.



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