With the Municipal Corporation authorities lagging behind schedule in cleaning road gullies in different parts of the city, rain on Friday led to chaos on the city roads. Waterlogging was witnessed in many sectors of the city, affecting the movement of traffic and causing traffic jams.
The worst affected were low-lying areas of the city such as Industrial Area Phase 1, Ramdarbar, Manimajra, Hallomajra, sectors 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 24, 56, Madhya Marg, 26/27 roundabout, 29/31/Industrial Area Phase 1/ Industrial Area Phase 2 roundabout, Attawa roundabout, Sector 15/17 underpass and railway underbridge in Hallomajra.
The spell of rain caused a lot of chaos on the roads, leading to traffic snarls. Madhya Marg, Purv Marg, Paschim Marg, Himalaya Marg and Vidya Path were severely affected, and there were long queues of vehicles causing delay to commuters.
Parul Sharma, a resident of Sector 35, said, “The drain near Attawa chowk was jammed and the entire road seemed like a flowing river. People moved in knee-deep water in the locality and many vehicles were seen stalling. Some manholes were uncovered, leaving behind a clear and present danger for the residents.”
This year, the Municipal Corporation authorities attribute the delay in cleaning road gullies to the civic body’s decision of not outsourcing work to private contractors entirely. Rather, they hired workers from these contractors on a rent basis and then monitored the required work. The officials claim that the decision pushed back the cleaning process by three weeks and thus, only 70 per cent of the work was completed by the onset of monsoon. They said the work would be completed by July 20.
But councillors claim that even in areas where the MC had completed its cleaning, many drains are still clogged with silt and garbage, which resulted in waterlogging on Friday.
Saurabh Joshi, councillor of ward number 2 comprising sectors 12-15 and Khuda Lahora, said: “The sewage line in the areas was completely damaged after the rain. The drains were completely clogged with leaves, silt and garbage around them. The water seeped into houses in the area. Despite repeated calls to the sub-divisional engineer and corporation authorities, the matter could not be rectified.”
“I had a two-hour meeting with the chief engineer regarding the issue. He gave assurances that the matter would be rectified but until then the residents would continue to be in crisis in the event of rainfall,” added Joshi.
“Last week, the engineering department officials had submitted a report that apart from Sector 23, in all other areas sewers and drains had been cleaned. However, the city witnessed waterlogging issues in nearly all the sectors on Friday. Therefore, we have decided to call a meeting with the officials concerned and take a strict action on the matter. The officials will have to submit a report explaining the crisis and measures adopted for rectifying the problem,” said Mayor Poonam Sharma.