THOUSANDS OF residents of HUDA Colony at Sector 19 were in for a nightmare as rainwater gushed into their houses and disrupted their daily routine for over eight hours on Wednesday. It started pouring around 9 am and continued till 12 noon. Water level in the colony increased so much that a two-wheeler got washed away and was about to fall into a nallah when it got tangled with an iron grille. Locals rued that despite making repeated calls to the local councillor and other politicians, nobody responded.
“The local MLA said he was busy at a meeting. During elections, the MLA had claimed that he would look after everything and revive the area completely. The area comes under HUDA but the housing authority has given this to the municipal corporation and neither HUDA nor the corporation has done anything for the betterment of the area. It has been years since the situation has been fatal,” rued S B Sharma, a resident of Sector 19.
“Rainwater started entering my house around 9 am and since my husband had gone to his village, I couldn’t figure out what to do. We have been facing the same situation since years but no one has attended to our miserable situation. No action has ever been taken. Again there will be rain and again we will face the same problem. We fear waterlogging in our area and it gets worse when water enters our houses,” said Ram Rati, a resident of Sector 19, adding, “No water is left with us to do the household chores since we used it all to clean the house. This time, the situation has deteriorated as I saw Activa two-wheelers floating in the rainwater.”
The residents alleged that the situation has been the same every monsoon and things were getting worse. From floating beds to cockroaches and rainwater bringing diseases like dengue and malaria, their suffering knows no bounds.
Only a fire brigade was sent late in the afternoon to flush out the accumulated rainwater and it took nearly five hours to control the flood-like situation. “How can the authorities be so insensitive? There are cockroaches in my house, the gutter on the road is lying open with more than 200 houses being victims of the circumstances. Marksheets and certificates of my daughters got drenched as rainwater entered my house. Our refrigerator and washing machine have been affected. It took us around five hours to drain out the rainwater from our house. The water from the gutter has entered the houses due to the rain causing skin problems,” said Kuldeep Singh, another resident.
Panchkula Mayor Upinder Ahluwalia blamed the Punjab government for the situation at Sector 19.
“We are taking legal opinion as this sector straddles the Punjab-Haryana border. A tall building has been erected on a drain in the area due to which the problem erupted today. The building has to be razed to redress the issue and we will see what can be done. We have recently started the work of cleaning the drains and we plan to finish it in the coming days,” said the mayor.
Sukhna water on the rise
The water level of Sukhna Lake has gone up alarmingly following the Wednesday’s heavy downpour. Sukhna Lake recorded 1152.6 feet of water after the rain, said UT Chief Engineer Mukesh Anand. The Chandigarh administration had started supplying water from tubewells to increase the level of the lake in the recent past.