Protesting poor storm drainage, Congress sprays water on NHAI’s Bhubaneswar officehttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/protesting-poor-storm-drainage-congress-sprays-water-on-nhais-bhubaneswar-office-5243432/

Protesting poor storm drainage, Congress sprays water on NHAI’s Bhubaneswar office

The protest came after the Bhubaneswar Muncipal Corporation on Sunday blamed NHAI for severe water clogging in front of the city’s ISKCON temple over the weekend.

Protesting poor storm drainage, Congress sprays water on NHAI’s Bhubaneswar office
Vehicles ply at a flooded road after heavy downpour, in Bhubaneswar. (PTI Photo) 

The Odisha unit of the Congress Party on Monday sprayed water all over the Bhubaneswar branch office of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to protest water clogging during monsoons in the state capital.

While party workers warned that their protest “was just a trailer”, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Niranjan Patnaik also tweeted: BJD’s 18 years of hard-work in Odisha, visible in all its glory. CM Naveen Patnaik should put out an advertisement too – “If visiting Bhubaneswar, please carry your swim suit ~ Issued in Public Interest by Govt of Odisha.”

Congress party members, in the presence of senior leader Suresh Routray, hired a water tanker and sprayed the office premises using a hose. They also hosed several officials. Congress also protested in front of the Odisha Bridge and Construction Corporation Ltd (OB&CC) in Nayapalli. The protest came after the Bhubaneswar Muncipal Corporation on Sunday blamed NHAI for severe water clogging in front of the city’s ISKCON temple over the weekend.

Heavy rainfall on Saturday disrupted traffic for several hours on the NH 16, specifically in Jaydev Vihar, Acharya Vihar and Nayapalli. Cars and auto-rickshaws were completely submerged near the ISCKON temple, while rainwater also entered houses nearby. Former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda on Sunday took to Twitter to point out the perils of a poor drainage system. He wrote: “Bhubaneswar after yesterday’s brief thunderstorm! Despite topping India’s Smart City rankings, it too is now plagued by the same urban blight that we earlier associated only with large metros. As we urbanise rapidly, forgetting the basics (like drainage) will cost us heavily.”

A barrage of criticism followed Panda’s tweet, which made BMC assign blame on NHAI. In a letter, BMC alleged that blocked trap wells, a part of the drainage infrastructure, led to water clogging. BMC added that it had raised the matter several times with NHAI and demanded immediate removal of silt from the drainage infrastructure near the temple. NHAI and OB&CC officials were not available for comment.

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