Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal convened a meeting on Monday to gauge the preparedness levels of different agencies in dealing with the monsoon and issues of waterlogging, even as the municipal corporations continued to blame the Public Works Department (PWD) for the state of affairs in the city after heavy rain last week.
Meanwhile, during the meeting, Kejriwal reportedly suggested that all concerned departments and agencies have to respond better to people’s complaints on waterlogging and other rain-related issues.
Kejriwal reportedly suggested that instead of installing pumps to drain out excess water, agencies should work on a long-term plan and come up with a better system to deal with waterlogging.
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“Kejriwal also asked all the agencies and departments to work in an integrated manner, not in isolation, to combat the issue. He was of the view that when the goal is the same, all departments should join hands to handle the situation,” said a senior official.
“Presentations on control measures and preparedness were made by the DDA, all three MCDs, NDMC, PWD, Irrigation Department and Flood Control Department during the meeting. These included details on the machines being used, evacuation systems, complaints received, complaints handled, officials deployed and other measures taken,” a senior official said.
Meanwhile, corporation officials who inspected areas under their jurisdiction alleged that desilting of PWD drains was not carried out. “The drains are filled with debris and silt. Residents of Mundka and Tikri villages are facing a flood-like situation due to waterlogging. Sewage water is also flowing into houses on the ground floor,” standing committee chairman of North corporation Mohan Prasad Bhardwaj said.
Bhardwaj also said, “We want desilting work of PWD drains to be given to the corporations. The Delhi government does not have enough manpower, equipment or experience for this work. We also demand that funds should be released to repair roads. Due to waterlogging, the condition of bituminous roads have become worse and many of them are not motorable.”
South corporation officials also attacked the Delhi government. “The government has failed to control waterlogging in PWD areas and Delhi residents suffered a lot as a result. It is time all agencies work together to deal with the issue,” South body mayor Subhash Arya said.
The corporations have also directed health officials to undertake work on controlling diseases such as dengue and malaria.
“We have completed desilting work of all the drains under the South body’s jurisdiction. Officials have been directed to regularly check the functioning of pumps. All call centres have been asked to function with full strength and complaints are to be attended immediately,” Arya said.