Babus forget to close lock gate, leave pockets flooded

KOLKATA: Senior officials of the drainage department have been asked to keep a constant vigil on city‘s prime waterlogging pockets, after last two heavy showers caught a section of civic officials napping and paved the way for large-scale inundation of some areas in Kolkata.

An internal investigation by the civic top brass has revealed that last Friday large areas of north Kolkata – Manicktala, MG Road, Muktaram Babu Street, Thanthania and Chittaranjan Avenue – went under water due to lack of timely action by some officials of the KMC drainage department at the borough level. Similarly, areas like Ekbalpore, Mominpur, Kidderpore, Alipore and Chetla in the south were waterlogged as the civic officials did not have the prior information about the rain.

Waterlogging woes were further aggravated by presence of a high tide in the Hooghly. “Some of our officials in the drainage pumping stations were not aware of the tide. So they forgot to close the lock gates along the Tolly‘s before tide hit at 4pm.

Similarly, storm water took hours to recede in some of the traditional waterlogging pockets in the north. While the waterlogging at Manicktala could be normal as the area experienced heavy rains in short duration, others got waterlogged as some civic officials failed to act on time.

“Timely action, including operation of pumps and clearing chocked gully pits, could have saved these areas from inundation,” conceded a KMC drainage department official. Bidhan Sarani Avijit Ghosh is concerned: “The city‘s drainage network was improved in the last few years so we did not witness such waterlogging. With the onset of monsoon this year, we are keeping our fingers crossed.”

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