Nitish orders draining of waterlogged Patna on war-footing

July 18th, 2008 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, July 18 (IANS) Considering the seriousness of the water-logging that has hit the city life the past few days, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered efforts on a war-footing to drain out the flood waters. At a high-level review meeting Friday, Nitish Kumar also directed officials to use powerful pumps, hire them from neighbouring states if necessary, to clear the flood waters from the city.

Earlier, demanding the chief minister’s immediate intervention to end the crisis, the flood-hit city residents and opposition parties held several angry rallies here. Seven people have been killed so far in the rain related accidents in the city.

Angry over the government’s apathy to their problems, residents of Kankarbagh, one of the worst affected areas of the city, blocked the National Highway-30 Thursday. They also threatened to stage protest rallies before the chief minister’s residence if water was not drained out quickly.

Nitish Kumar, however, tried to downplay the situation, saying it was an outcome of “natural calamity”. Even metropolitan cities were facing such problems, he added.

The chief minister had stated during the last two monsoon seasons that the waterlogging in the state capital would “soon be a history”.

Official sources said Nitish Kumar has asked district officials to take measures to clean the city drains.

He also told them to evacuate the people from the waterlogged areas, arrange for relief materials and safe drinking water supply for them, sources said.

To prevent outbreak of an epidemic, the chief minister asked the officials to sprinkle bleaching powder and DDT in the waterlogged areas once the water was pumped out.

Meanwhile, the district authorities have deployed half a dozen boats to facilitate the movement of the marooned people. “Some boats have been deployed in the low-lying Kankarbagh and Rajendra Nagar neighbourhoods to help people,” an official said.

Waterlogging has affected over a dozen residential localities of the city, including Boring Road, Khaitan Market, Bahadurpur, Patel Nagar, Kadam Kuan and Patliputra Colony, a VIP residential area.

The state legislative assembly compound has also been flooded.

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