Patna HC issues directions on issue of waterlogging in state capital

Patna: In the last week of September, Patna received torrential rains which resulted in the death of 42 people. According to a release issued by the state disaster management department, Patna received 342.5 mm of rainfall during the period against the state average of 255 mm. Vishal Kumar Singh, a resident in the state capital raised this issue before Patna High Court and questioned the irresponsible and negligent attitude of the State Authorities including the Patna Municipal Corporation, Department of Health and District Administration of Patna.

Court's observations and directions

Justice Shivaji Pandey and Partha Sarthy directed the state to file their reply within four weeks. Keeping the upcoming festivals in mind, including Chhath Puja the high court also directed the state to “ensure draining out the water and make the residents ease who are under severe constrain.” “The festival is coming fast. Chhath puja is going to be celebrated on 31st of October, 2019. It is expected that the Ghats will be brought to a proper shape so that the persons, who are observing Puja, will have an easy approach to the Ghat,” the bench said. Issuing a slew of directions, the division bench ordered the state government and the municipal corporation to “take steps to prevent spreading of Dengue” and go on a “war-footing by cleaning each area and specially those area which have remained under water for a long time.” “It is also expected from the Municipal Corporation, it will remove the garbage from different places of the city without delay. It is not only causing great harm to the citizen of the city specially but, also spreading the menace of Dengue mosquito. This Court again directs the State Government Authorities as well as the Municipal Corporation to show sensitivity that whenever any phone call comes, they must receive it and give proper reply,” the bench said. “They must also reflect the phone number as well as the name of officers in the web-site as well as in paper who are also supposed to give response whenever a citizen is making a complaint about litter in their area,” the bench added. The high court observed: “The water logging is a recurring problem which is happening everywhere in the city of Patna. For the present, the citizen of Patna is still facing the problem of water logging in certain areas and also reports have come through newspaper that the people are suffering from Dengue fever and one of the member of the Bar has already died on account of Dengue fever which is a very serious matter. Reports have also come from paper that at least 55 persons have died as a result of Dengue fever.”

Petitioner's prayers

Advocate Deepak Kumar Singh from HRLN’s Patna unit represented Vishal in this matter. The HRLN Patna team raised various issues with regard to the mechanisms and preparedness of the State Government to tackle the situation of waterlogging and also the menace of epidemics like – Dengue, Malaria, Chikungunya and other water-borne filarial diseases. In his plea, the petitioner had also raised the issue on the immediate action for cleaning of drainage and sewage, pumping out of the stagnant water, fogging, and basic facilities including health, hygiene and sanitation. The need of emergency medical services and health facilities for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children in the waterlogged areas of Patna was also highlighted through the petition. Read the petition and the order.