Patna: Searching desperately to find a sacrificial lamb for the historical flooding of Patna the effect of which continues to linger even two weeks after water first began receding, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, following a four-hour-long marathon meeting in Patna on Monday, ordered punitive actions against nearly five dozen employees of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCO) for failing to diligently perform their duties.

Kumar, who is under fire from all quarters with opposition parties demanding his resignation for the same reason he wants actions against PMC and BUIDCO engineers, ahead of a report to be submitted by an ad hoc committee earlier formed to get to the bottom of the cause of water-logging, ordered harsh measures against 60 employees, including many engineers, with punishment ranging from being fired to withholding of the paycheck to transfers.

These people failed to keep the underground drainage clean that led to accumulation of rainwater on the roads of Patna, the CM said adding they also failed to perform regular and routine upkeep of the sump houses across the city.

Among those to feel the wrath of the Chief Minister are 47 employees of PMC, six hygiene inspectors from Kankarbagh and Pataliputra, Kankarbagh executive officer, city manager, chief hygiene inspector, and a dozen junior inspectors.

While some of them have been ordered to be suspended, others' paychecks have been ordered to withhold until they appear before a committee to explain their side of the story. Nearly two dozen employees of sump stations have also been asked to clarify their stand or face serious consequences.

At least 11 engineers of BUIDCO have also been summoned to explain what led to massive water-logging in Patna that affected more than 80 percent of the city with some areas as much as in six feet of water for more than a week.

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