Patna: It may not have rained adequately in the capital city of Patna, which aspires to be a smart city, but the plight of the rainy season in most of the residential areas is seen to be believed. It has no correlation with the quantum of rain.
Dug up roads, heaps of garbage occupying most of the places along the stretch, chambers and manholes with their caved in covers … it is a challenge for the commuters, who have to risk walking in the middle of the road to find their way through a maze of traffic, which includes a whole array of vehicles from rickshaws and thelas to cycles, motorcycles, cars, buses, tractors, JVCs, dumpers and a lot more trying to squeeze through every inch of space.
The city has not witnessed the kind of rain that it was used to have a decade ago. The downpour of ‘Hathiya’ and ‘Kanha’ nakshatra have gone totally missing. Yet, water logging with the slightest of rain and garbage thrown by the roadside are conspicuous. If one inadvertently happens to stand under a flyover to escape getting wet in rain, there is a strong possibility that he would be drenched by sudden gush of water from the disconnected or missing drainage pipes of the bridge. The entire Chirayatand flyover is a living testimony to this.
The flyover not only experiences water logging due to its faulty slopes and design, but the authorities also have a unique way of getting rid of it. Suddenly some municipal staff come to clear the water logging and the unsuspecting commuters down under have to bear the brunt of cloudless rain. No body bothers for the misery.
In the residential areas, construction of roads, or repair is a thing of the past. The work on drains never stops, but it hardly serves any purpose.
Take for example the ‘Ara Garden’ on Jagdeo Path, Patna’s plush residential apartments housing the bigwigs of the city, including bureaucrats and politicians. However, entry to the VVIP apartments is a veritable nightmare, with encroachment, open manholes in the middle requiring deft driving skills to avoid dents and mishaps and broken roads. But then, the outside pain is seldom felt by those moving in air-conditioned chauffeur-driven luxury cars.
The situation is no better in other areas, even as elevated roads present a sight of smooth journey and a drone image of the city from above can camouflage the pitiable condition under the glitter of lights.
The ongoing construction work for drains and metro has further compounded the misery with trail of indiscriminate digging to trap two-wheeler riders. The width of the roads earlier gobbled up by indiscriminately installed electric poles now have elevated drains on both sides. And with non-existent footpath, more than the driving skills one requires the intuition to negotiate the treacherous stretches. At the Gateway to Patna, the Patna Junction, the chaos greets as one moves out and follows across the city. If you are a pedestrian, you can only curse yourself.
Miseries of those living near Saguna More in Danapur, which witnessed a sudden surge in construction of high-rises and luxury malls in the past one decade, are no different. Roads leading to most of the apartments remain waterlogged with overflowing drains. Residents have to play a virtual jigsaw to avoid the open manholes. “Is this the treatment we get in return by paying our taxes dutifully to the municipal bodies,” wondered Dinesh Shukla a resident of Winsome Park apartment near New Mainpura colony.