Why Patna drowns every year ?
As monsoon arrived early this year in Why Patna drowns every year ?, flood warnings has been issued for several districts in the state. Waterlogging can be seen in several areas of Patna which were also flooded last year.
Muzaffarpur – As per the official reports,Bihar is the most flood prone state in India. Flood has been an annual thing in the state for several decades,mainly due to the negligence of authorities responsible. Even after decades of independence,no permanent solution has been established by the state or central government. Floods in Bihar mainly occur due to sudden release of water from dams in Nepal or unexpected excessive rainfall but the Patna floods 2019 was a different case.
Patna received a massive amount of rainfall previous year which broke decade old records but it was not unexpected. IMD issued a warning on 27 september but the authorities said that they were caught by surprise by the rain. Roads were turned into rivers and people living in high rise apartments were stranded in their own homes. People with low incomes and no concrete houses were worse affected by the rain. Lower lying areas like Rajendra Nagar and Kankarbagh were completely submerged into water.
Even the VIP areas were submerged in water where important politicians and powerful figures lived. Many politicians were left embarrassed during the Patna floods. An extremely funny or rather extremely sad view was seen when Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi was rescued from his home by the NDRF. His house as well as his locality was submerged in water.
People pointed out the irony that when RJD was in power,the same Sushil Modi held protests over waterlogging and now he is being rescued from his home due to waterlogging despite being in power for 10 years. He did not even visited his area back and interacted with common people when water stayed there for a week. Another dramatic incident occured when BJP MP from patliputra Ram Kripal Yadav fell into water when he was overseeing the relief work in his constituency from which he was elected since 2014.
several big cities which face the same problem searched for solutions. Chennai installed first IFLOWS system in the country to battle the flooding in the city. IFLOWS system predicts possible flood and height of floodwater in a particular area of the city 72 hours in advance which can save a lot of lives and relief work can be initiated before the flood occurs.
Mumbai took note of previous floods in the city and IFLOWS system was installed. Bangalore and kolkata are also developing to get IFLOWS systems in the cities but no initiative has been taken yet to get the system for Patna.
But the biggest failure was seen from the CM Nitish Kumar himself. When He was asked about the causes of Patna floods and waterlogging wich happens every year,Nitish Kumar replied by saying that even Mumbai has floods and even the US cities face the same problem ,why Patna floods are highlighted so much?.
This actually shows the naked truth of Bihar politics which can only be laughed at by the people outside of Bihar. He blamed climate change for the Patna floods of 2019. Maybe climate change is responsible for the excessive rainfall but this does not change the fact that the motors responsible for taking out water from localities were completely useless due to corruption in installing them, the drainage system was extremely bad and old to handle the only city resembling to a mega city of Bihar. Even the maps of Patna drainage system were lost in 2017 ,as the Patna mayor said in a statement.
Nitish Kumar was previously very vocal about the Bihar floods and even asked Centre to remove the Farakka Dam which was causing floods and drought to Bihar but his recent negligence about Patna floods last year was a reason to question what his goverment has done in this particular issue. Floods are not directly related to politics but history has shown that floods can be very important in Bihar politics.
Congress lost power in 1990 when 1399 people died due to flood in Bihar and the party has never been in complete power ever since. Same thing happened to RJD during 2004 Bihar floods but 2019 floods were unique not only because it exposed the widespread corruption even in the state capital but also because pre-monsoon rainfall started in Patna this year and waterlogging can be seen just like the previous year.
This meant that the state goverment and civic bodies has done little to no work to prevent another flood in the capital city. The biggest way in which people in power made fun of common people was when Bihar Urban Development Minister Suresh Sharma announced a three member inquiry committee over Patna floods.
It was headed by a secretary of his own department(who were responsible for proper urban planning) and other two members were chief of BUDCO(who were responsible for taking out water through water pumps which were not working)and administrator of patna civic body (who were responsible for maintaining the drainage system). This announcement was clearly a show of power and how people with power can get away after doing any level of corruption.
With state assembly elections just months away,opposition is highlighting how the present goverment badly handled Patna floods 2019,Present goverment is highlighting how the last years has been better than RJD ruled years but voters can be sure that these floods will keep happening every year until they start to question their leaders on work which they have done and public should have information which politicians tend to hide like how a 389 crore bhagalpur dam collapsed just hours before Nitish Kumar had to inaugurate it or why does drainage maps of capital of a state as big as Bihar gets ‘lost’.
There was some bright spots during Patna Floods.A lot of groups were distributing rations and water to the stranded people,many people from all across the nation donated money for the groups to function.The most hopeful thing was seeing the youth do the distribution work voluntarily with the help of people who donated through social media pages.
Some politicians like Pappu Yadav did some actual ground work to make sure that people had milk, foods and water and that will surely benefit him in the upcoming elections. It does not matter if politicians did relief work for political motives ,they were there for the people when people in power were being rescued from their own bunglows. If waterlogging happens this year again,it is most likely that JDU will be out of power just like congress and RJD when they faced big floods.
The participation of youth with no political connections or motives in relief work shows that they are in a mood to make some changes in how disaster management is done and how people responsible for it must be answered in the elections.