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After 33 yrs,drainage set to see masterplan

Many parts of Delhi were flooded after what the authorities called “unprecedented rainfall” on July 27 and August 21.

Many parts of Delhi were flooded after what the authorities called “unprecedented rainfall” on July 27 and August 21.

Delhi Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta held a review meeting on August 22,and said the roads went under water since the city’s drains have a capacity to carry a load of only 25 millimetres of water per hour — on both these days the rainfall was reportedly recorded around 75 mm per hour.

THE last time a comprehensive masterplan was made for Delhi’s drainage system was back in 1976. Since then,the pressure on existing infrastructure can be explained by the population growth: up from 40 lakh (or 4 million) in 1971 to 13.22 million,as per the 2001 census.

With every sharp spell of shower making the city catch a cold,Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna has now asked Engineers India Limited (EIL) and the Delhi government’s Irrigation and Food Department to make a masterplan to strengthen the drainage system.

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Khanna has asked EIL to submit the report on “urban watershed management and drainage solution” by September 26.

All stakeholders — Municipal Corporation of Delhi,New Delhi Municipal Council,the Delhi Development Authority,Public Works Department,Irrigation and Flood Department,Delhi Metro,national Highway Authority of India and the Railways — will be consulted for the report,according to information.

Delhi has 5,000 stormwater drains,and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) manages 94 per cent of them. While EIL has suggested abandoning manual de-silting of drains,among its suggestions is to get GIS integration of the whole drainage system. A primary reason that leads to flooding,the EIL said,is interconnection of sewer and drains at various places.

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EIL executive director D Mougdil held a meeting with Irrigation and Flood Department officials on Saturday to work out a plan.

Municipal Commissioner K S Mehra said: “We do not have a comprehensive plan for the entire city so far. This plan will take into account all the aspects of where the water will flow and also rainwater harvesting.”

The Irrigation and Flood Department had issued an expression of interest two years ago to make a comprehensive plan for drainage. A Pune firm won the tender with the lowest bid but since the firm has experience of working only in smaller cities — Surat being one — the project has been pending since.

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EIL has been asked to do the Pune firm’s capacity analysis.

The municipality,according to reports,spent nearly Rs 25 crore on drainage,and over 2,000 people are employed for cleaning drains and related work every year. The MCD claims though it handles 94 per cent of the drains,the 75 bigger ones are under the Flood and Irrigation Department.

The DDA and PWD have 92 and 73 drains,respectively,under their jurisdiction.

First published on: 08-09-2009 at 11:57:10 pm
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