first_imgAfter a marathon four-hour meeting with top officials to review the recent prolonged waterlogging in Patna, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar formed a committee of high officials to find the lapses which led to the situation and suggest remedial measures.Over two dozen officials, engineers and sanitary inspectors were suspended and issued show-cause notices for the lapses on their part. The project manager of the private company, L&T, which is involved in the Namai Gange project in the city, too was served show-cause notice.After the meeting was over late on Monday, State Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar told journalists that the “committee comprising Development Commissioner, Principal Secretary of the Road Construction Department, the Disaster Management Department and the Urban Development and Housing Department will submit its report mainly on these points — the reasons and lapses behind the waterlogging, identification of those officials responsible for it and a comprehensive work plan to prevent such waterlogging in future”.The Chief Secretary said that immediate steps would be taken for the removal of encroachments over the drains to ensure free discharge of waste water. “New drainage pumping systems will be installed at 14 places across the city,” he added.State’s Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who along with his family members was earlier evacuated from his waterlogged residence in Rajendra Nagar area by the Patna District Magistrate, was also present at the meeting. On Sunday, residents of Rajendra Nagar had staged a protest outside his residence for leaving them behind in the hour of crisis.Earlier, the State Urban Development and Housing Department Minister Suresh Sharma too had formed three-member panel of officials from those departments which were primarily responsible for the waterlogging, but next day he made a U-turn and said it was just a proposal.The Deputy Chief Minister, considered close to Mr. Nitish Kumar, clarified that no such panel had been formed to probe the waterlogging as the “Chief Minister himself is going to hold a high-powered review meeting on Monday on the issue”.Major embarrassmentProlonged waterlogging in certain areas of Patna had apparently caused a major embarrassment to the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government. All the three MLAs, two MPs, Mayor in the district are from the BJP and none was seen visiting the waterlogged areas to provide help to the residents.The National Disaster Relief Force personnel were the only source of support during the eight days of waterlogging in areas such as Rajendra Nagar, Kankerbagh, Lohanipur, Kadam Kuan and Bazar Samiti.However, after public representatives expressed their view that Mr. Nitish Kumar should discuss the issue with them as well, he is scheduled to meet them on October 19.last_img

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