Puri: At least 300 families of Sujata Nagar and Matitota fifth lane in Ward No-1 here have been facing extensive waterlogging in their localities for the last one and half months. And, the district administration and the civic authorities have done precious little to solve the problem despite repeated pleas from the residents.
Sujata Nagar and Matitota fifth lane, arguably, are two low-lying areas in the Holy City that often face severe waterlogging. The July 21 and August 7 heavy downpours had inundated the two localities.
The situation deteriorated further when water was released from Hirakud dam recently. The areas have witnessed waterlogging up to 4 feet high due to the entry of flood water from Mangala and Musa rivers.
According to the residents, the walls of at least 17 thatched houses in the two localities have collapsed and several thatched houses got damaged in the rain and subsequent flood water. At least 50 families have left their homes for their relatives’ houses. The Goddess Mangala temple at Sujata Nagar has been lying submerged for the last 45 days, said a local.
The residents of these areas are using rafts, tubes and even large utensils to reach outside. At least a hundred people are suffering from skin diseases due to frequent movement in water. “It is a flood-like situation here. We are living a life of fear due to the presence of snakes and leeches in the water. We are also facing a lot of problems to collect drinking water as most of wells and tube wells in our localities have been lying under water,” said a resident of Matitota fifth lane.
The aggrieved residents, meanwhile, have threatened to boycott the upcoming civic, general and Assembly elections over the waterlogging issue. They also gheraoed an inspection team led by municipality executive officer Srikant Tarei Monday. The team visited the marooned areas on a raft and submitted a report to the district collector.
It is learnt that the administration Monday deployed six pumps to suck out water from the two low-lying areas. But, locals opposed the move arguing that it would not solve the main problem.