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Sunday, Oct 02, 2022

Two-hour rain spell leaves several areas waterlogged in Gurgaon

Officials Sunday said the flooding occurred due to heavy intensity of rainfall in a short span of time.

Several vehicles broke down while commuters had to wade through knee-high water in low-lying areas. (Sourced)

A spell of moderate rain for over two hours on Sunday morning caused severe waterlogging in many parts of Gurgaon. Several vehicles broke down, pedestrians had to wade through knee-high water, and traffic was hit as water inundated key roads and internal sector areas.

According to data from the district administration, Gurgaon received 19 mm rainfall till 5 pm. Traffic Police officials said waterlogging was reported at Golf Course Road, Rajiv Chowk, IFFCO Chowk, MDI Chowk, MG Road, Signature Tower, Basai, Subhash Chowk, near Huda City Centre Metro station, Manesar bus stand, Hanuman Chowk, Sector 4/5 Chowk, Krishna Chowk, Sector 21/22 road, near Wazirabad traffic signal, AIT Chowk, Kanhai Chowk, near Mayfield Garden Chowk, Artemis Chowk, Sheetla Mata road, South City 1 and at stretches of National Highway-48.

ggn waterlogging Waterlogging at Gurgaon’s Signature Chowk. (Photo: Traffic police)

“Some pockets of Gurgaon received heavy rainfall today and waterlogging issues were reported in several areas. In most of these, water levels receded within one-two hours. On Golf Course Road, one of the societies was pumping out a large volume of their internal stormwater which added to waterlogging on this stretch. Waterlogging was reported by Sector 28 residents & the GMDA team installed pump sets to address the issue. Similarly, pump sets were also deployed in Basai. Meanwhile, construction of additional road gullies is underway near Sun City society. No underpasses were flooded in today’s rain,” said Vikram Singh, executive engineer, Gurgaon Metropolitan Development Authority.

The problem

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According to experts, inadequate drainage infrastructure, urbanisation and disappearing water bodies and lakes due to concretisation, change in land-use patterns, disruption of natural drains, encroachment at stretches along stormwater drains and choked drainage lines were major reasons for flooding across the city every year.

Sewa Ram, an urban transport systems design expert and faculty member at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) in Delhi, said, “Over the years, concretisation has taken place either on top or in the route of natural drains, which blocks natural course of water. Many newer sectors and parts of Old Gurgaon along the Dwarka expressway do not have drainage infrastructure. In several areas, drainage lines are choked due to construction debris or encroachment, so they do not have sufficient capacity to carry heavy surface runoff during monsoons. If the drainage network is discontinuous, roads will be submerged with rainwater. The drainage infrastructure has not been designed to withstand a high intensity of rainfall.”

At present, Gurgaon’s rainwater is disposed from three master stormwater drains – leg 1, leg 2 and leg 3 (Badshahpur drain), with Badshahpur drain accounting for over 60% of the drainage network carrying runoff from over 24,000 hectares of land. These master drains collect rainwater and channel it into the Najafgarh drain in Delhi. Experts said Gurgaon, located at foothills of the Aravallis, earlier had hundreds of water bodies, lakes and bunds (embankments) – indigenous structures – in low-lying parts which acted as natural drainage columns by storing water, and prevented flooding.

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According to a report from the district administration from 2018, Gurgaon had over 640 water bodies in 1956 which reduced to 251 by 2018.

“The natural drains also helped recharge groundwater. With urbanisation and subsequent construction, roads were built over these natural drains. Ghata, Chakkarpur, Nathupur, Kadarpur, Jharsa etc all had natural drains and ponds in villages which acted as recharge zones. Surplus water would flow downstream to many smaller nullahs and prevent waterlogging. All these have been filled up and their water carrying capacity has been reduced due to encroachment or dumping of waste and debris. Moreover, drains are not cleaned or desilted regularly compounding the problem,” said an expert, requesting anonymity.

One of the worst affected stretches during monsoon is the service lane on the Khandsa-Narsinghpur stretch on NH-48 and low-lying areas of Laxman Vihar and Sector 4A. Officials said water accumulates in these areas due to topography, adding that a long-term solution to flooding at the Khandsa stretch lies in the construction of leg 4 of the 5.5-km stormwater drain between Vatika Chowk and NH-48, whose tender has been floated recently.

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Officials Sunday said flooding occurred due to heavy intensity of rainfall in a short span of time. An official said, “The problem of waterlogging in underpasses has been largely solved with the construction of check dams and water chutes, and using pumps. We are working on rejuvenating water bodies to solve the waterlogging problem.”

First published on: 07-08-2022 at 12:56:48 pm
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