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PMO inundated by drain water after heavy downpour

NIRJANA SHARMA

KATHMANDU, July 30

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A heavy rainfall in the Valley Tuesday afternoon again exposed the government´s tendency to commit and then forget to address problems.

The downpour left the Prime Minister´s Office (PMO) in Singha Durbar flooded for the second time in the last two months.

Drain water accumulated up to three feet in the underground floor at the PMO that houses six sections, including the office of the Far Western Development Department. Likewise, Karnali Commission, Document Center and the Foreign Affair and the Information centre were also under water.

Similarly, conference hall, canteen and drivers´ offices, also situated in the same floor, were also inundated. The office was earlier flooded on May 25 after similar downpour.

Ram Kumar Rayamajhi, 39, who was present at the drivers´ section during the downpour tried to build a temporary “dam” at the door of the drivers´ office to prevent the water from entering the room. But the situation turned worse within a few minutes.
Rayamajhi is currently deployed as a driver at National Planning Commission.

“As we tried to get out of the room, water seeped in from the drainage rapidly, soon reaching up to our waist level,” Rayamajhi said.
The vehicles parked outside were also 2.5 feet under water. The water also filled the store room, where power generators are kept.

In his 27 years service in Singha Durbar, Bashu Kaji Maharjan had never seen the administrative center being flooded in such a manner. Currently deployed as an electrician at the Ministry of Urban Development, Maharjan feels that situation could have turned worse if rescue efforts were delayed.
An eight member firefighter team reached PMO at 1.30 pm and cleared the water in two hours. The Light Portable Pump and ladder pump of the Kathmandu Fire Brigade were used for clearing the water.

According to Singha Durbar Unit of Nepal Police, 25 police personnel and 50 army personnel were deployed at the site. While the emergency exits were opened, the army personnel were seen using buckets, thick carpets and their slippers to throw water from the office.
No sooner the KMC received information about the flooding in the PMO, the KMC´s Environment Division Chief Rabin Man Shrestha and City Police Chief Dhanapati Sapkota reached the site.

According to Shrestha, a separate sewerage pipe from Anamnagar passes through the Singha Durbar premises, which over-flows during heavy downpour.
The secretary level meeting held at the PMO on May 26 had concluded that Kathmandu´s traffic going haywire after heavy rainfall was a lesson for the government on its lack of preparedness.

According to Kishor Bhattarai, chief of Kathmandu Fire Brigade, poorly built drainage system had worsened the situation.

“We had earlier discussed that the building might not have been constructed properly while renovating it to establish the offices,” said the PMO secretary Suresh Silwal.

He added that a meeting has been called with the technicians at the PMO to find a long term solution. “All the documents stored in the office are safe,” he claimed.

As the water level receded in couple of hours, people gathered around to lampoon the government saying, “We often heard that the government ignores Karnali zone, but saw an instance just today.”

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Forecasting Division recorded 32.9 mm rainfall till 6pm on Tuesday, whereas only 2.7 mm rain fall was recorded till Monday evening.

Source: Republica DailyLink: http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=58678
Published on 2013-07-31 01:59:39
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About nirjanasharma

Nepali Journalist.

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