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Court orders probe into water-logging

Correspondent

Seeks report from civic body

Cuttack: Concerned over the sufferings of lakhs of people in Cuttack city due to an alleged manmade calamity of water-logging, the Orissa High Court on Tuesday asked the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) to submit a report within 24 hours as to what action the civic body was taking to ameliorate the problem and provide succor to the affected people.

Treating a letter petition filed by a lawyer as PIL, the High Court also ordered for an RDC level probe into the recent Cuttack deluge in which over five lakh people were affected due to water-logging for over three days.

A division bench of the High Court, comprising Justice B.P. Das and Justice M.M. Das asked the RDC to submit its report within ten days stating as to why there was no free-flow of rain water into the rivers through the drains which were claimed to be have desilted by the civic authorities in June this year. The RDC would also probe and name the officials of the district as well as civic body officials who were responsible for not opening the sluice gates of the drains in time so as to release the rain water into the river.

Compliance report

The High Court also asked the CMC to clear the water-logging of the city within 24 hours and submit a compliance report in the form of an affidavit.

The CMC was also asked to clear the garbage, slush and muck that have been strewn all over the city immediately. Debashis Panda, a lawyer of the High Court had filed the letter petition alleging that the recent Cuttack city calamity was not natural rather manmade.

Meanwhile the sufferings of people in some parts of the city continued unabated for the third consecutive day on Tuesday. Though rain stopped since Monday night, low-lying areas like Suta Hat, Gamhadia, Kazi bazaar, Patta pola and Mahanadi Vihar are still under three to five feet water.

The district administration opened another five free kitchens on Tuesday taking the total to nine for supplying cooked food to the affected people. Over two lakh people are still inundated where relief was being provided, official sources said.

Meanwhile, the city is now under the grip of epidemic threat as people here fear to drink the pipe water. The damaged pipes remained under drain water for more than 48 hours.

The areas where the water has receded now face a peculiar problem because the garbage and slush from drains are all strewn everywhere.

“Since most of the municipal sweepers are also victims of the water-logging we have not been able to take up the cleansing job yet,” says a civic body employee.

The administration has in the meantime formed 10 medical teams who are moving across the city to take up disinfectant works and take stock of the situation to check any major epidemic like diarrhoea, cholera and jaundice.

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