‘Delhi’s drains can’t cope with monsoon’

May 12th, 2009 - 12:16 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) Councillors of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Monday criticized the condition of drains in the capital saying that they were likely to overflow during the monsoon, despite claims by the MCD commissioner that 95 percent desilting had already been carried out.
At the MCD’s standing committee meeting, councillors of both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress party criticized MCD Commissioner K.S. Mehra’s findings that 95 percent of the city’s drains had been desilted.

The newly elected MCD standing committee chairman from the BJP, Ram Kishan Singhal reacted strongly to these statistics.

“This (choking drains) is a grave problem across Delhi. I know for a fact that there are drains already in overflowing condition at Rohtak road - Nangloi stretch, in the Wazirpur area and in many other areas. Such is the situation now then how will the drains be like in the monsoon?” he asked.

Singhal added that once the model code of conduct in force for the elections end May 16, cohesive steps would “have to be taken in each ward” over 10 days, after which on May 25 counsellors in whose wards drains are not cleaned will be held “accountable”.

Congress councillor Captain Khawinder from Kalkaji demanded that each councillor be given the drainage plan of his or her ward to facilitate the process.

The MCD manages over 95 percent land in the capital. MCD’s 1,544 ’safai karamcharis’ or sweepers are responsible for the upkeep of 272 wards.

There are around 1,540 drains with over four feet depth and some 3,257 up to four feet drains.

The MCD estimates that 1843.5 million tons of silt is deposited in these drains that needs to be cleaned out before the July-August monsoon period.

“People are given big promises of cleaning drains. While the actual work is not carried out - on paper we are shown 95 percent of the process to be complete. This is just not possible,” said Congress councillor J.K. Sharma, who is leader of the opposition.

According to Sharma, it is impossible that since the past six months when the desilting process began 95 percent work could be completed.

“The sweepers were on strike for almost two months in between, still they claim that in every ward 10 odd sweepers managed to clean 60 drains in six months time. It’s all hogwash!” Sharma said.

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