Patna: Relentless rain on Friday and Saturday has turned Patna into a floating city as life came to a grinding halt on Saturday morning with more than three-fourth of the state capital under 6" to 4 feet of water forcing the district administration to issue red alert and summon the services of boats used by Disaster Relief force.
Low-lying areas like Kadam Kuan, Rajendra Nagar, Dariyapur, Sabzi Bagh, Kankarbagh, Machhua Toli, Salimpur Ahra, Bakerganj, New Area, Lalji Tola, Lohanipur, Mithapur, Gardanibagh, Pataliputra Colony, Punai Chak, and Rajiv Nagar were flooded with rainwater and many homes had to be abandoned by its occupants who were seen frantically moving their valuables to higher grounds to save them from the rising water.
As always, despite 14 years of promises by the Nitish administration and its dream of turning Patna into a 'Smart City', underground drainage failed to perform what they are expected to do. As a result, garbage spilled over on the roads making the condition even more hellish than ever before.
Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) officials also said what they always say whenever there is waterlogging in Patna.
"Our men are working round-the-clock to drain the rainwater and sump machines have been deployed throughout the city to clear up the roads," said PMC Commissioner Ajay Kumar Pandey
Many areas were also without power for over 10 hours resulting in snapping of BSNL communication lines rendering many people without cell phone connection.
Meanwhile, Patna Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Garima Malik put 35 police stations in the state capital on high alert for any contingency including theft and burglary in heavily-affected areas.
In yet another testament of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's failure in keeping up with his promises to make Patna the world destination for medical care, rainwater entered into the Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) where general ward, administrative section, and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) were under knee-deep water forcing many patients to leave for higher grounds.
Though not as bad as the NMCH, Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) was not immune to waterlogging either as the parking lot and the path leading to the doctors' quarters were under knee-deep water making it inconvenient for both the patients and resident doctors.
With no sign of any respite from the downpour, the rain also affected train and air traffic in the city as tracks at Patna Junction were filled with over a foot of water and a number of flights had to be either cancelled or diverted to Lucknow, Varanasi and other airports.
Concerned by the latest flooding in the city and other districts in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar held a high-level meeting with senior officials across the state via videoconferencing directing them to spare no stone unturned in keeping people safe and not take their eyes off the rising water level in all Bihar rivers.