Normal rain derails life in Chandigarh

August 5th, 2008 - 3:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Aug 5 (IANS) The rain was normal, but as it turned streets into rivulets here, the claim of the municipal authorities of being prepared for the monsoon turned out to be hollow. Pedestrians and drivers had a lot of trouble Monday evening as vehicles broke down. Many could be seen taking shelter under trees and at bus stops while other pushed their stalled vehicles home.

Though the average Chandigarh resident faces waterlogging frequently, this time it were the judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court who were at the receiving end. Overflowing drains flooded their houses and courtyards in Sector 24.

The problem was so severe that an immediate meeting with municipal corporation (MC) officials was called by some of the judges, said an official of MC.

There were long queues of traffic in sectors 8, 9 10, 16, 17, 21, 22 and 23. Due to slow drainage, the streets were flooded in the low lying areas in sectors 19, 20, 29, 37, 38 and the industrial area. In many areas residents also complained of water entering their houses.

Puneet Bhalla, owner of an electronics equipments factory in the industrial area, said: “We had to stop work as water entered our workshop. We have complained many times, but no one has paid attention. All their schemes and sanctions are only on paper and we have to suffer each time.”

The conditions in the adjoining towns of Panchkula and Mohali were similar. “I waited for nearly two hours in the parking space of Sector 8 to reach my home in Mansa Devi Complex (MDC) in Panchkula. Condition of roads in MDC was also very bad and have further deteriorated after frequent rains,” said Smriti Sharma.

“We were prepared to handle any situation but this chaos happened just because of heavy and untimely rains,” said a senior official of MC.

Contradicting this, Chatar Singh Malik, Director of meteorological centre in Chandigarh, told IANS: “There was nothing alarming about the amount of rainfall. It rained in patches for around two hours in the afternoon. Then it started raining again in patches for around three hours at around 9 p.m. We are expecting similar conditions to prevail in the coming days so the administration should make arrangements to avoid any untoward incident.”

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