By D N Singh
The tragic death of a young boy in an overflowing ‘nallah’ (drain) the other day, in Bhubaneswar once again reminds us how the civic system or its authorities live in an island of ignorance. Ignorance regarding what happens at ground zero.
They mainly live in a hidebound state of complacency and none of the higher among them ever ventures out of the comforts of the offices for a reality check once in a while.
Which ostensibly shows that how their pattern of work depends on misinformation or understatement of the real situations.
It has not been the first case in recent times. Rains have to be there during the monsoon and a preparedness should be in place to tackle the water logging related problems.
In a similar incident a boy was killed by drowning in a drain in 2018 and then an elderly woman was washed away by a street storm water channel flooded in 2019.
It was all preceded by a very heartrending tragedy when Pupun Biswal who was a ninth class student, fell victim to an unguarded drain in Behera Sahi inside the capital city as his screams for rescue went down in the din of the rains.
Numerous such instances took place however, the incident of last Sunday in which a 15 year old boy died has a reason to reopen the wounds of many.
According to some working on such a civic safety field, the capital city has a stretch of about 800 km of drain which includes sub drains and the increase in the poor or absolutely no maintenance of the drains kill people on whose tax such worthless and uncared for drains are built.
Do the civic authorities have even driven across a main drain running in Patrapada area, gazing at the NH? It runs up to Tomando beginning from little beyond Baramunda.
It exposes a classic case of grotesque state of affairs. After every 25 meters or so, a huge opening gapes at one as the maintenance lid lies away somewhere. Since many of the areas do not have the sufficient street lighting, any pedestrian can be a victim falling inside the open ditch to death.
In the case of Cuttack it can be understood as the city suffers from geographic contortion and remains like a cauldron. Where water logging can be imminent.
But Bhubaneswar is a peninsula of small hillocks flattened partially for townships yet what bugs the city is the near total absence of a self-regulated safety mechanism and advance preparedness.
Talk to an authority the answer is metamorphic “ the incident is unfortunate. The family has lost the child and we cannot give back the life” is the kind of alibi from the department.
And that was the final nail on the coffin of the boy !
About the Author:
DN Singh is a Bhubaneswar-based senior journalist.
This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write up have nothing to do with the www.prameyanews.com