Outfall drains have become a breeding ground for mosquitoes
The storm water drainage scheme taken up with funding from Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) is nearing completion. Taken up with liberal funding from the Centre- Rs. 39.16 crore-80 per cent of the total funding of Rs.49.2 crore, the scheme has been designed to prevent water logging and stagnation on roads during monsoons in Bapatla, a coastal town and an educational hub, 58 k.m away from Guntur. Former minister and local MLA Gade Venkata Reddy got the scheme for the town using his personal rapport with the then Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy in 2007. The Public Health department has laid main drains extending to a length of 13, 235 metres and sub drains to an extent of 24,608. The sub drains cutting across the town empty into a major outfall drain, Bhimunigunta vagu ( Tavva kaluva), which has been strengthened up to the point where it leads into Nallamada drain. But even before the scheme was to be formally handed over to the civic authorities, the scheme has come under the scanner with residents expressing their ire over faulty design and the poor quality of works.
“The indiscriminate digging of drains and the delay in closing the gaps has worsened the mosquito menace. At several places, the drains have been diverted to suit vested interests,'' said secretary, Forum for Better Bapatla, P.C Sai Babu. For instance, the side drains were overflowing on the road near the market where construction of RoB is under progress.
Side drains in Christianpet have been left incomplete posing problems to commuters, while the drain in Patel Nagar has been diverted towards Toofannagar and diverted to Tavva Kaluva. The local municipality was being accused of civic apathy. The municipality has not been able to prevent people from littering the major drain, Tavva Kaluva which could lead to clogging. Pieces of plastic waste, animal waste were being dumped into the major drain.
The municipality should have appointed watch and ward staff and put up warning boards. At places, where the drain is flowing close to habitations, wired fencing could be laid. “The storm water drainage scheme is a boon for the town and we have completed the work using the best available technology.
It is the responsibility of the local civic body to ensure that the drains are free from clogging,'' said Deputy Executive Engineer, Public Health, N. Prasada Rao.