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Monday, September 20, 2021

Upscale markets to residential areas: Complaints pour in from across Delhi

Waterlogging was seen even at Shanti Path in Chanakyapuri over the past two days, an area usually free of drainage issues.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
September 2, 2021 1:52:51 am
Tree uprooted at Pandara road after heavy rain in Delhi on Wednesday (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

A few hours of heavy rainfall on Wednesday morning left several parts of the city severely waterlogged, with water entering homes in some areas and commuters forced to wade through submerged roads.

Waterlogging was seen even at Shanti Path in Chanakyapuri over the past two days, an area usually free of drainage issues. Embassies of different countries, as well as homes of senior government officials are located in the area. Senior officials of the New Delhi Municipal Council said this was a result of a sewer blockage, which has now been cleared. Other areas that were hit included Aurobindo Marg near AIIMS flyover, and the road from AIIMS to Moolchand.

MCD control rooms received complaints of waterlogging at around 50 places including from Defence Colony, Nehru Enclave, Jangpura, South Extension Part 1, Sundar Nagar, and Lajpat Nagar 1. Pumps were used at several locations to flush out water, said a senior SDMC official.

Connaught Place, too, was hit, with traders saying there was water inside some shops. “Outer circle was especially affected as the drainage system had choked. At H Block and C Block, water filled the parking lot,” said New Delhi Traders’ Association president Atul Bhargava.

Shops in Sadar Bazaar were flooded as well, said Rajendar Sharma, general secretary, Federation of Sadar Bazar Traders’ Association. “Mahavir Bazar was submerged in knee-deep water even late in the evening after the rain stopped,” he said.

BS Vohra, president, Federation of East Delhi RWAs, said some streets were filled with at least two-feet-deep rainwater.

The PWD, which got 281 complaints, attributed the unprecedented waterlogging situation to more rainfall than usual and to a drainage system designed years ago and which does not have the capacity to handle the needs of today’s population.

A senior official said, “One of the main reasons for such heavy waterlogging is rapid industrialisation. This has happened in cities across the world… drainage systems were built to cater to a certain number of people. Delhi’s population got denser over the years and unauthorised colonies started coming up. Hence, sewerage from many such colonies leads into the same drains as they had not been planned properly.”

Officials have been working on temporary and permanent solutions at many critical points — including Pul Prahladpur and Minto Bridge underpasses. While Minto Bridge has seen relatively less waterlogging this year, Pul Prahaladpur underpass has been heavily waterlogged since yesterday. Officials said a tender has been floated for a sump at Pul Prahaladpur. Minto Bridge underpass had been closed to traffic for a short while Wednesday.

The Delhi government in a statement said: “It has been raining heavily over the last two days. But what bears testimony to the work done to prevent waterlogging over the last few days is that issues such as buses getting stuck below Minto Bridge did not arise… In future, we will try to ensure no waterlogging takes place no matter how much it rains.”

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