Bhubaneswar: Rains in recent past have turned the road virtually a death trap. Roads are riddled with large and small potholes rendering the roads extremely hazardous.
Smart city, Bhubaneswar, has been recording heavy rains since Tuesday and waterlogging has picked up pace over many parts of the city.
Open drains have posed to be death traps all across the city. Last year, a child died in Nayapalli area. Many accidents are reported due to these open drains yet to be repaired
The problem assumes monstrous proportions in the monsoons. Are the concerned authorities waiting for a major tragedy to happen making them spring into action?
Open drains and mushrooming of potholes in the city are causing many fatal accidents, especially of pedestrians and two-wheeler riders. Driving vehicles has become a herculean task.
On a rainy day, when students move to their schools, people rush to their offices, business establishments, the water logged roads pose a big threat.
“My car got stuck in a water poodle in the middle of the road near Jharpada Jail Chhak,and water got inside the engine. I had to hire an auto to send my wife and child back home in heavy rains. Nearly Rs. 70,000 was spent in its repair. Moreover, the insurance company is also refusing to reimburse the amount,” laments Manoj Agarwal, a chartered accountant in the city.
“A ten minute shower in the city turns the streets into a river. No one would be able to distinguish between an open drain, pothole or road. A child fractured his leg after falling into an open drain this morning. I have been waiting for about half an hour for the water to recede so that I will be able to cross the road. This have been happening for the last few years,” said Ramkrusna Haldar.
“There is knee depth water in front of my house. The autos and buses are not able to ply across the city. A school bus was stuck in water. This created a traffic shutdown. I was late to the office by two hours. Its very irritating as this has been continuing for the last few years,” said Alfa Ray, a resident of Delta Area, Nayapalli.
Water has got in the houses in low lying areas, vehicles are either stuck or are wading through the poodles, pedestrians are waiting under nearby shelters for water to drain out.
The flooding in the not-so-smart city happens every year, with citizens just waiting things to turn out right some day.
When asked about the actions taken by the concerned authorities, the Mayor has the stereotyped excuses.
“Engineers are being deployed at every waterlogged street, whether it is Rasulgarh, Nayapalli, Buddha Nagar, Cuttack Road,etc. Water has also started receding. So the problem has been sorted out for now. As regard to the open drain problems, it will be redressed very soon. The drains will be de-ceiled and slabs will be put over it to increase the height and footpaths will be carved out,” retorted Ananta Narayana Jena, Mayor, Bhubaneswar.
When Bhubaneswar got the tag of first smart city, all its citizens were overwhelmed with happiness, but the civic amenities are lagging way behind.
A question duly arises, ” Does Bhubaneswar deserve the smart city tag?”
Why are the authorities sleeping? Are they waiting for some major mishap and then jump into action?