BHUBANESWAR:A joint squad of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), the (BDA) and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Wednesday removed an that blocked sewer manholes along the National Highway 16 near IRC square.

The encroachment is close to the Iskcon Temple the front of which has been getting inundated after the briefest spells of rain. Because of the encroachment, sewage from the Temple and the Presidency Hotel were being discharged into the rainwater drain. This also often created situations of waterlogging in Behera Sahi and Bhoi Sahi areas on the other side of Iskcon.

“The drain is meant to take only rainwater and not sewage. This was a major concern for all of us. After an exhaustive survey, it was found that an individual had illegally occupied the area and constructed a structure on the manholes. We removed the structure and restored the sewer line,” said an officer of the BDA.

Residents of Behera Sahi and Bhoi Sahi were present when the demolition exercise was afoot. Many of them had been pressing for the removal of structures obstructing drains for a long time.

“We have been greatly benefitted by the enforcement activities taken up by multiple agencies. In rainy season, low-lying areas will now be able to get some relief,” said Sukanti Sethi, a resident of Behera Sahi.

Discharge of sewage into drains meant for rainwater is a criminal offence. “This is also punishable under the Municipal Corporation Act, 2003. We have out up barricades with the help of NHAI. The removal of encroachment from the manhole will now direct sewer to the sewerage channel,” said BDA additional commissioner Bhabani Shankar Chayani.

On Wednesday, the enforcement squad also razed the 176-feet-long boundary wall of the engineering college under Sikshya O Anusandhan University (SOA) in ward 64 along the natural drainage channel 9. The boundary wall was on the drain and obstructing the flow of water through it.

The demolition drive started at 8.30 am and continued until noon. Two squads of BDA and one of BMC also participated in the exercise.

Get latest news & live updates on the go on your pc with . Download The for your device. in English and other languages.