Torrential downpour swamps Delhi, chaos on roads (Second Lead)

August 27th, 2012 - 10:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 27 (IANS) A torrential downpour Monday evening turned several roads in the capital into virtual rivulets, causing massive traffic jams that affected tens of thousands.

“The whole of Delhi is witnessing traffic jams,” an exasperated Delhi Traffic Police officer told IANS.

A city that had been complaining about poor rainfall this year was suddenly hit by blinding rains after 6 p.m., taking motorists and people by surprise.

In no time, scores of roads big and small became flooded, thanks to choked drains.

In some areas, water entered houses and shops.

Motorists had a harrowing time all across the city. On some streets, there was knee deep water.

“It took me more than 45 minutes to cross a distance that normally takes just 15 minutes,” complained software professional Punit Chadda.

Chadda was driving on the arterial Ring Road, which witnessed flooding at several spots.

North Delhi Mayor Meera Aggarwal told IANS that there was no flooding in the areas she visited.

“But when there is such heavy downpour, flooding is bound to happen,” she said.

Public Relations Executive Manish Arora was stuck on an otherwise busy road near the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for some 30 minutes because of bumper to bumper traffic.

Delhi Metro reported huge crowds as harried Delhites chose the network, even dumping their own vehicles.

“Though office hours are always rush hours in metro, today the volume of crowd is more than usual,” Madhulika, a regular commuter, told IANS.

South Delhi Mayor Sarita Chaudhary blamed multiple civic agencies for the chaos on the roads. “Sometimes PWD digs up the road but it doesn’t come under us. Who is responsible?”

North and East Delhi Municipal Corporation spokesman Yogendra Singh Mann said it was high time the capital’s drainage system was given an overhaul.

Rainfall recorded in the last 24 hours till 5.30 p.m. was 26 mm. Officials said data for the later rains was not immediately available.

Rains are also expected Tuesday, with the India Meteorological Department predicting light rains or thundershowers.

With the Yamuna’s level rising menacingly, the Delhi government asked people living along the river’s banks to move to safer places.

An official said the Yamuna had touched 204.16 meters — 67 centimeters short of danger mark.

“All preparations are in place to deal any flood like situation in Delhi,” said Irrigation and Flood Control Minister A.K. Walia.

The official said 43,218 cusecs (cubic meters per second) of water has been released from upstream at the Hathnikund barrage Monday.

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