Poor Drainage Stops Town in Tracks

Bridge underpass in Madhupur, Jharkand floods every monsoon. “I was on my scooter on the way to the market when in place of safe underpass below the bridge, I came across this enormous pool of dirty water. The depth of the water would easily reach my knees and there was no way I could cross it on my vehicle. I saw people of all shapes and sizes – the old aged, children, women, labourers, vendors crossing the dirty pond on their feet. I looked around to see if there was any other access road to the main market in my village. There was, but you had to put your life on the line and skip across the railway tracks. It was a terrible situation. I knew I had to make a video on it.” Community Correspondent Mukesh Rajak from Madhupur district, Jharkhand produced a video documenting the utter breakdown of safe access to the main market of the entire district due to over flowing of the gutters in monsoon. The blockage in the gutters causes the water to flow into and collect in the underpass thus blocking the only road into the marketplace. The same road also joins the northern and southern parts of the town. The flooding stops the town in its tracks. People from all across are left with no option but to wade through the water or cross over the nearby railway tracks. Railway tracks in India are unsuspecting death traps for those who chose to walk it. Every year over a 100 people die on the railway tracks and thousands more are grievously injured.  In the monsoon, Madhupur too has seen its share of accidents and misfortunes to pedestrians. The flooding of the underpass has continued for over ten years casing much discomfort and even fatality among the local residents but the authorities have never done anything about it. While the authorities should build an effective drainage for the underpass, they could put in a small effort in the meantime and clear the clogged gutter. “I’m hoping that before the next rains arrive the authorities can take some action,” says Mukesh. As usual, he is out with video trying to show it to the concerned authorities in the governance to persuade them to take adequate action and he has the people’s voices on his side. “This is problem has been going on for over ten years,” says a women in his video, when a frustrated pedestrian comes into the camera and says from behind her,” Not ten but a thousand.”

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