Delhi waterlogging: Civic agencies ignored police warning

August 24th, 2010 - 11:09 am ICT by IANS  

By Praveen Kumar
New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) Way back in May, Delhi’s traffic police had told the civic agencies about 279 roads that were likely to come under water in the monsoon, but three months down the line endless traffic jams in the Commonwealth Games host city reveal that the warning fell on deaf ears.

With the skies opening up every day, over 250 roads have gone under water in the capital even as the Games are just about 40 days away.

“We wrote a letter in May just before the monsoons, providing the civic agencies a list of 279 roads in the capital which are vulnerable to waterlogging,” Special Commissioner (Traffic) Ajay Chadha told IANS.

“It was regarding repairing and resurfacing of roads, desilting of drains and provision of water pumps on these roads to avoid waterlogging in the rainy season,” he said.

Several letters have been written to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), the Public Works Department (PWD), the Delhi Cantonment Board, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Delhi Metro, he said.

Out of 279 vulnerable roads, 135 were under the MCD, 72 under the PWD, 14 under the NHAI and 48 under the NDMC.

The agencies, instead of acting on the report, preferred to play the blame game, said a police official. The intimation letter was resent in June, July and August, but the problem of waterlogging was still reported from the vulnerable roads identified by us, he said.

“The civic agencies are well aware of the roads that need to be repaired and resurfaced,” said Joint Commissioner (Traffic) Satyendra Garg.

“It’s not that they need our report and letters to know about the vulnerable points. They have their own control room and they are very much aware of these points,” he said.

He also informed that these agencies have their own information collection system on waterlogging but have been unable to cope with the situation.

“They have their own reasons for it. According to them, the huge construction work going on at various construction sites for the Commonwealth Games has led to the failure of the drainage system, resulting in waterlogging at various places,” added Garg.

Last year during monsoon, 161 roads experienced waterlogging. The traffic police had written letters to civic agencies in September last year requesting them to repair potholed roads that pose a hazard to drivers and also slow down traffic movement.

These included 41 roads under the MCD, 41 under the PWD, 10 roads under the NDMC, five roads under the Delhi Metro and three roads each under the DDA and the NHAI and one road under DIAL, an official said.

An official of the MCD, which is responsible for cleaning rain water drains in over 90 percent of Delhi, claimed that due to the construction of an elevated road over the Barapullah drain, linking east and south Delhi by the PWD, several rain water inlets are clogged with debris.

Construction debris, broken slabs and bricks blocking water inlets have made it impossible for rainwater to fall into the drain. Parts of south and central Delhi are getting flooded during rains for this reason.

(Praveen Kumar can be contacted at praveen.k@ians.in)

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