More than 24 hours after it had to be closed to commuters due to waterlogging on Tuesday morning, Gurgaon’s Hero Honda Chowk underpass continued to remain submerged through Wednesday, despite multiple pumps working to drain water. “Five pumps of 20-25 HP and seven fire brigades are working on the task,” said Ashok Sharma, project director, National Highways Authorities of India (NHAI).
The structure, constructed at a cost of Rs 46 crore and inaugurated about three months ago, had become inundated after 128mm of rainfall, with NHAI officials blaming an overflow of the Badshahpur drain. “Until the Badshahpur drain recedes, operating the pumps will be ineffective. However, all the pumps are functional,” Sharma had said on Tuesday. The Badshahpur drain has repeatedly emerged as a problem, with officials initiating widening work on the drain after its overflow led to flooding and gridlock across the city in 2016.
Two years later, work is yet to be completed, with Chander Shekhar Khare, administrator of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), saying it will commence in September, after the monsoon, and take another two months to be completed.
Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh, who carried out an inspection of the underpass, also laid the blame for the waterlogging on the delay in completing work on the Badshahpur drain: “Work has not progressed at the pace at which we had hoped… Houses and plots of several people have obstructed the widening work, and these cases have been taken to the court, causing delays.”
Following the inspection, the minister held a meeting with officials to discuss the issue of waterlogging, during which Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) CEO V Umashankar revealed that NHAI officials had told him that autostart pump sets had been installed inside the underpass to deal with rainwater, but these had failed to function on Tuesday.