Funds down the drain as problem still persists in city

Sukhmeet Bhasin
Tribune News Service
Bathinda, July 20

Crores of rupees have been spent to resolve the waterlogging issue in the city, but the problem still persists. The city has failed to get any respite because storm water and pumping stations, which were installed in the areas that face chronic waterlogging, were connected to the existing sewer system. Instead, these should have been provided separate lines. In the absence of a proper drainage system, city residents have to wade through a mix of sewage and rainwater that accumulate on roads.

Besides, other reason for sewage overflow and waterlogging is that drains and road gullies are not desilted properly before monsoon. According to the records available with the MC, it has given Rs40 lakh per month to a private firm Triveni, which has the operation and maintenance contract of sewerage and water supply in the city for 10 years.

The MC and the Sewerage Board have failed to monitor the working of the company as accountability has not been fixed by the authorities.

Sirki Bazaar, which suffers the most due to waterlogging during monsoon, is yet to get a sigh of relief. According to information, the MC had laid a rainwater pipeline linked to the main pipeline at Sirki Bazaar at a cost of Rs1.5 crore, but it has failed to give any respite to residents and shopkeepers of the area.

Waterlogging and swage overflow have become a common sight on Powerhouse Road. Despite a new rainwater pipe and a boosting station that have come up in the area at a cost of Rs 40 lakh, the scenario is still the same.

Much to the agony of residents of Powerhouse Road, waterlogging has now leading to the problem of sewage overflow on the main road.  

The sludge carrier, constructed in 1991, has a capacity of 64 cusec water. But, whenever the flow of water increases, it faces breaches as it has not properly been maintenance and renovated.  

The MC has been relying on the sludge carrier project for a solution to prevent a breach in the carrier. As he the work on laying a 48-inch diameter parallel pipe to carry sullage is being undertaken at a snail's pace, it seems that the solution is going to be a realty soon. 

Only a four-km-long pipe has been laid in the past four years. It will take 10 years to complete the project. The snail's pace also shows the seriousness with which the MC has been carrying out this Rs 17.20-crore project.

Causes 

  • The city has failed to get any respite because storm water and pumping stations, which were installed in the areas that face chronic waterlogging, were connected to the existing sewer system. Instead, these should have been provided separate lines. 
  • Besides, other reason for sewage overflow and waterlogging is that drains and road gullies are not desilted properly before monsoon. According to the records available with the MC, it has given Rs 40 lakh per month to a private firm Triveni, which has the operation and maintenance contract of sewerage and water supply in the city for 10 years. The MC and the Sewerage Board have failed to monitor the working of the company as accountability has not been fixed by the authorities.
RELATED PCS officer held for embezzling panchayat funds