Bhopal: A sit-in by Mayor Alok Sharma against the agencies like PWD, Capital Project Authority (CPA), MP Housing Board and Road Development Corporation for the flood in state capital- has evoked response from the agencies concerned.

Divisional commissioner Kavindra Kiyawat in a meeting with officials, of agencies blamed by Mayor, instructed that departments concerned should realize their responsibility for maintenance of drains, nullaha, roads etc. However, former CM Babulal Gaur held none other than the civic body—Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) itself as responsible for its failure which cause flood in state capital.

Former CM Babulal Gaur said, “It is entirely BMC administration’s responsibility to ensure cleaning of nullah and drains before onset of monsoon and it should not pass on the blame to other departments like PWD, MP Housing Board, BDA or  CPA.”

“If other agencies make mistake in construction then BMC administration should bring it in their knowledge to get it rectified so that public do not face any hassles and BMC administration would work smoothly,” he added. “But as far as flood is concerned, BMC administration cannot shrug off its responsibility,” he said.

PWD Superintending Engineer Abhay Khande reiterated Gaur’s reaction and said, “PWD cannot sweep roads. PWD only constructs and maintain 525 Kilometers roads of the state capital. “It is BMC’s responsibility to ensure proper disposal of sewage cleaning drains, nullah of the state capital. Instead of introspecting itself and focusing in its work BMC is uselessly blaming other agencies,” he added.

Divisional commissioner Kiyawat said, “It is difficult to work in coordination with so many departments over roads maintenance. So a proposal will be sent to government to fix the roles of agencies (department) for construction and maintenance of roads.” He also instructed MPHB to put report within 15 days about dilapidated houses.

Mayor Alok Sharma said, “I am justified at my stand by staging a sit-in in Safia college road as due to its casual approach PWD has constructed a narrow culvert there- which causes flood. In 2016, I have raised the issue with PWD Minister Rampal Singh and followed up the matter several times. But the officials did not take it seriously. I am pained as officials hardly take my communication seriously so I sat on chair and made a phone call to PWD official. After my sit-in, today, Divisional commissioner Kavindra Kiyawat convened a meeting and he agreed for nodal agency for proper and hassle free work in state capital.”

He said that at 11- stop bus stop, MP Housing Board made constructions on nullah and sold it and similar is the condition with 6 number bus stop. He said, “The point is from how could MP Housing Board sell off anything constructed on nullah. Similarly, BDA has now become bunch of builders. CPA has restricted itself till Char Imli where bureaucrats and ministers are allotted bungalows instead of focusing on the entire state capital.”

“So we have demanded constitution of nodal agency comprising officials of all the departments—PWD, MP Housing Board, BDA, CPA, Road Development Corporation and others –for proper coordination. No doubt, BMC has responsibility of cleaning nullah and drains but it cannot interfere in job of others. How can BMC instruct MP Housing Board, BDA, CPA to work according to BMC. They will have to do their jobs,” Mayor added.

PWD’s clarification

PWD, in its report clarified it position and stated, “PWD had constructed culvert 2×2 square meter and it was sufficient for exit for rainy water as opening of culvert was sufficient. But last year, BMC “reconstructed” down the stream which made the culvert narrow. Secondly, encroachment mushroomed. Cleaning of nullah is not possible with machines. Besides, just because of blocked nullah at Laxmi Talkies Road, and Bal Vihar Road, cause water-logging at Safia college. There is insufficient opening and the solution of situation is to widen the culvert after removing prevailing encroachment.”

Many roads and even posh colonies were waterlogged after Bhopal recorded 4.5 inch rainfall on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday- causing flooding like situation almost the whole of Bhopal.