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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Delhi: After waterlogging brings city to halt, CM Kejriwal holds meeting to assess drainage master plan

The implementation has been stuck in red tape and between the multiple authorities that govern the city — including PWD, municipal corporations, Delhi Jal Board, DDA, and the flood and irrigation department.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 25, 2021 7:37:41 am
Delhi saw the heaviest rainfall in a single day in August since 2007, on Saturday. (Photo: Praveen Khanna)

Days after Delhi came to a standstill because of heavy rain and waterlogging, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a meeting with senior officials to assess the progress of the much-delayed drainage master plan.

The master plan, which was prepared by a team at IIT-Delhi, talks about the need to free stormwater drains from encroachments, ensure garbage is not dumped in these drains, separating the stormwater drain system from the sewage system, and effective desilting.

During the meeting, Kejriwal said, “Officers should conduct studies and find solutions for each and every stormwater drain and sewer system. Every gap in the drainage system of Delhi has to be plugged. If there’s a fault in the slope of a drain, it needs to be fixed. If any drain is meeting a dead end, it needs to be corrected. A proper plan should be chalked out for connecting smaller drains with the large drainage lines. Specific projects should be taken up for fixing each problem. The work needs to be expedited. But they need to be implemented while making sure that all the issues are dealt with intricately and with proper care.”

The study to improve the drainage system was commissioned in 2012 by then CM Sheila Dikshit. The draft report was submitted in 2016 and the final report in 2018.

The implementation, however, has been stuck in red tape and between the multiple authorities that govern the city — including PWD, municipal corporations, Delhi Jal Board, DDA, and the flood and irrigation department.

Delhi saw the heaviest rainfall in a single day in August since 2007, on Saturday.

Stormwater drains are a network of big and small drains responsible for taking rainwater to the Yamuna.

Several of these networks are centuries old but have been compromised because of encroachments. Another reason for the network becoming compromised is the dumping of untreated sewage in these drains. Poor road design, concretisation of all paths, and no outlet for accumulated water are also reasons for Delhi’s persistent waterlogging issues.

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