NEW DELHI: The recent heavy rains in Bihar throwing life out of gear have exposed the unpreparedness of the Patna district administration. Experts and locals have accused the local administration for failing to properly utilise funds it had received under various heads. According to several residents of Patna district, it is the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) which should be blamed for the chaotic situation due to the incessant rains.
As per the 2019-20 PMC budget, Rs 319 crore was spent on six divisions of PMC to push the Mukhyamantri Kachi Gali Nali Yojana to repair the internal roads and drains which are either kuchcha or defunct in nature. Under the Colony Smart Road and Drainage project, the Urban Development and Housing department had approved the first phase of 100 important colonies costing Rs 1,249 crore in 2018-19.
Ravishankar, a senior journalist who covers the PMC, told The Sunday Guardian that despite Rs 6 crore spent to clean the drains in Patna, the PMC failed to clean the major drains which resulted in water-logging and, hence, Patna faced a flood-like situation. “The PMC did not properly clean the major drains such as at Bagshahi, Mandiri, Rajiv Nagar, Indrapuri, Bakarganj. Hence, there was no passage for the rain water to flow out. Besides this, the construction of a six-lane road from Patna to Digha has contributed to water-logging in areas such Rajiv Nagar, Keshri Nagar and Rajvanshi Nagar,” he said.
Ashok Bhatt, state media in-charge of Bihar BJP, told The Sunday Guardian: “It is nature’s wrath. The main reason for the flood-like situation in Patna is nothing but unexpected and heavy rainfall. However, it is also true that the PMC should have had a pre-plan to tackle situation arising from natural calamity. As the PMC did not expect such heavy and continuous rainfall, the government faced some challenges in tackling the situation.”