Rains force schools’ closure, waterlogging kills two in Patna (Lead)

July 15th, 2008 - 8:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, July 15 (IANS) All the schools here were closed for three days after heavy rains and waterlogging affected normal life Tuesday even as two people died after slipping into overflowing ditches. “Schools were closed till July 18 for the safety of children,” said an official.

The decision has come as a relief to schoolchildren as well as their parents.

Waterlogging claimed two lives in the Bihar capital, police reported Tuesday. Subham Kumar, alias Chimpu, 22, a college student, died in Rajendra Nagar here Monday night after he slipped and fell into a waterlogged ditch in which a live electric wire had fallen.

“Chimpu died after he came in contact with a live wire in the waterlogged ditch,” angry residents told the police.

In another incident, Mukesh Kumar, 25, died after he fell into a waterlogged ditch near Azeemabad colony here Sunday night. “He fell into the overflowing ditch on way to his home and died,” the police said.

Residents have demanded adequate compensation for the families of the victims.

The state assembly compound and Bihar’s only international sports stadium, Moinul Haque stadium have been waterlogged for the last few days.

Thousands of people here were struggling to cope with it. While a lucky few have shifted to safer areas, most have no choice but to live with the dirty water around them.

Over a dozen residential localities have been affected, including Kankarbagh, Rajendra Nagar, Boring Road, Khaitan Market, Shrikrishna Nagar and Dariyapur Gola.

Waterlogging even affected Patliputra Colony, known as a VIP residential area where the top brass of the state administration and well-to-do businessmen live.

But Bihar Urban Development Minister Bhola Singh and the Patna Municipal Corporation Commissioner Mihir Kumar Singh denied that waterlogging had affected most of Patna.

Angry and frustrated residents staged protests against the failure of the government agencies to drain out water.

The heavy rains continued Tuesday, submerging many more roads and neighbourhoods. In some areas water pumps have been used to drain the water out.

Met office director T.N. Jha predicted more rain Wednesday.

Opposition politicians have blamed the government for failing to complete work on cleaning the drains and roads before the onset of monsoon.

“The government is solely responsible for the deaths because of its unplanned digging of roads created dangerous ditches across Patna,” said Shyam Rajak, senior leader of the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal.

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