A Day After Man’s Death, OMMCOM NEWS Does A Status Check On Open Drains In Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Following this year’s incessant rains, the plaguing problem for the smart city has emerged to be the dismal drainage system. The already existing drains, dangerously open, add to the woes of the denizens as they not only spread a bad odour in the neighborhood, but also contribute to water-logging in the city.

Notably on Monday night, a 55-year-old man met a premature death after falling into an open drain amid water-logging near Banadurga Temple in Unit VI area of the city. The man was walking along the water-logged road and he was unable to spot the uncovered drain which was filled with storm water.

The incident triggered commotion as locals complained of several open drains in the locality which have turned into deathtraps during the monsoons. The Unit VI incident is not an isolated one as Nayapalli, Jayadev Vihar, Capital Hospital area, Bomikhal and Old Town are also infested with a network of such deathtraps. According to a draft report by the State Forest Department, most of the sewage from the city reaches River Khuakai and River Daya through open drains running west to east crisscross the city.

In most of the places sewage is discharged into open drains without any treatment that poses severe threat to health in addition to causing nuisance of bad odour and over flow during monsoon period. Here is what the smart citizens have to say about this issue: Bhagirathi Bhutia of Nayapalli complained, “Pedestrians and vehicles are not able to judge which part is road and which part is the drain, after a spell of heavy rains. Even the animals fall into the drain. The road level and the drain level is all same during the rains and that becomes a nightmare.” Dharnidhar Samal of Jayadev Vihar, that is considered to be one of the posh areas of the city, said, “The drains are completely open and due to sewage not one drop of excess rain water is able to flow through the clogged drains.

Thus, the water flows on the road and even enters the homes. We have kept sand bags to block this dirty water from entering our houses.” “The situation is so bad that the rainwater mixed with the drain water is causing water logging in the streets. The flow of this water becomes even greater than the currents in the river. There is a lot of fear in the people’s minds to travel or walk on the roads as they might get swept away,” he added. One Jameswar Bhuyan from Capital Hospital area said, “There are no slabs on the drains which is the biggest problem. Even if slabs are there, the drains are filled with garbage which is why water overflows on the streets and the level of the drain camouflages with that of the road.

In such cases, judging the proper way of navigation becomes difficult and travelling on the roads become life-threatening.” While the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) have pulled up their socks to improve the drainage system of the smart city, the work is still at a very nascent stage. In the meantime, the citizens have to be careful while navigating through the roads to stay clear of the deathtraps.

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