CUTTACK: Life has come to a standstill for Md Kalim, a newspaper hawker of Meria Bazaar in the city. Even as it stopped raining on Tuesday, Kalim was still not able to resume his work as the streets of the city remain waterlogged.
“I used to distribute newspapers in and around College Square. Though the storm water that had entered my house has receded, I cannot go out on my bicycle due to waterlogging on the streets,” he said. Incessant rains in the last few days not only made lives miserable for locals, it also hit businesses. Like Kalim, Rajendra Sethi of Sutahat too could not resume his business as the city’s streets remain waterlogged.
Though storm water started receding from some parts of the city on the day, as many as 80 low-lying localities are still reeling under waterlogging. The situation remained unchanged in several residential areas like Shilpi Kumbhar Sahi, Nima Sahi, Jhola Sahi, Bhagatpur, Sutahat, Patapola, Kesharpur, Khatbin Sahi, Rovers Street, Mahidas Bazar, Mehendipur, Meria Bazar, Rausapatana, Pithapur and Haripur on the day.
Locals blamed the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) for the state of affairs in the city. While clogged drains are to blame for the mess, it also exposes the inefficiency of the civic body which has been making tall claims on preparedness to prevent and tackle waterlogging issue in the city, said former corporator Giribala Behera.
CMC Commissioner Ananya Das however said dewatering pump sets have been engaged to release excess water from low-lying localities. While two more pumping stations have been operationalised at Bidyadharpur and Guluguli, the waterlogging situation is improving and is expected to be normal by Wednesday, she said.
While dry and cooked food is being given to people stranded in different waterlogged localities of the city, around 60 people of 26 families have been evacuated and shifted to Biren Mitra School. “We are also trying to reach out to people including the differently-abled who are in distress through NGOs and social organisations which are coordinating with CMC under the latter’s shelter for urban homeless programme,” said Das.
Meanwhile, the premises of Acharya Harihar Post Graduate Institute of Cancer (AHPGIC) was disinfected after release of storm water on the day. A physical barrier has also been created by putting up sand bags to prevent storm water from entering the hospital premises, Das informed.