Following the heaviest rainfall the city has received in eight years, chaos and confusion prevailed on Gurgaon roads throughout Tuesday, with multiple waterlogged stretches leaving pedestrians stranded and leading to traffic congestion across the city. On Tuesday, the rainfall was recorded at 128 mm until 10 am. Worst hit by the four-hour downpour was Gold Souk road, where people who were on foot had to wade through knee-deep water, while those in vehicles found themselves taking over an hour to cross the 2-km stretch.
At Subhash Chowk, vehicles remained stuck in a traffic jam that lasted over half-an-hour, with several buses breaking down in the service lane below the flyover. “Due to unprecedented rainfall, few areas and roads were affected by waterlogging during peak traffic hours in the morning. With the efforts of engineering staff of civic bodies and traffic police, excess water was drained and vehicular movement restored,” said a spokesperson of the district administration.
Gurgaon police said “around 2,000 to 2,500” personnel remained on the roads through the day, directing traffic and assisting people. This included all SHOs and ACPs, as well as personnel who usually man checkpoints. “Water was up to 2-3 feet in certain areas, as a result of which managing traffic was a problem. Several vehicles also broke down, aggravating the issue,” said Subhash Boken, PRO of Gurgaon police. “But due to efforts of personnel, although there was congestion and slow moving traffic in some areas, there was no traffic jam situation as such,” Boken added.
Multiple underpasses and subways were also rendered unusable on Tuesday, as a result of water accumulating inside. At Hero Honda Chowk underpass, water drowned the entire base of the structure, leaving officials with no choice but to suspend traffic movement inside it. As the afternoon wore on, people peeped down into the underpass, taking pictures of a lone bus that was almost entirely submerged. Officials from the National Highways Authorities of India (NHAI) attributed this to the overflow of Badshahpur drain rather than a drainage problem with the underpass itself.
“Since the Badshahpur drain is running full, the pumped water is back-flowing… Until Badshahpur drain recedes, operating the pumps will be ineffective,” said Ashok Sharma, project director, NHAI. The Badshahpur drain had similarly emerged as the problem point during the 2016 deluge on July 29, when 50 mm of rainfall had led to waterlogging and gridlocks across Gurgaon. Officials had then decided to remove encroachment and widen the drain to increase its carrying capacity. However, two years later, the work is yet to be completed.
“We will start the work after September 15, post recession of monsoon. It will take around two months to complete,” said Chander Shekhar Khare, administrator of the Haryana Urban Development Authority, which has been entrusted with the task. By Tuesday evening, some parts of Gurgaon still remained inundated. “Water has receded from almost all areas and junctions. Hero Honda Chowk and Medanta underpasses will be drained by Wednesday morning,” a spokesperson of the district administration said.