Civic agencies preparing to keep Delhi waterlogging free during monsoon

·3-min read

New Delhi, Jun 10 (PTI) The civic agencies in the national capital are preparing to keep the city waterlogging free during the monsoon season, carrying out desilting of drains in a big way.

The Public Works Department (PWD) and the three Municipal Corporations in Delhi (MCDs) hoped that desilting of drains will be completed before the onset of monsoon by month-end.

A senior official of the Delhi government's PWD said desilting (removal of silt and garbage) of drains is 'on track' and will be completed between June 20-25.

The images of vehicles stranded at waterlogged Minto bridge underpass in the heart of the city where a delivery van driver drowned last year had led to a public outcry even as the ruling AAP and the BJP-controlled MCDs indulged in the blame game.

North Delhi mayor Jai Prakash said all the agencies concerned including the PWD must cooperate to keep the city waterlogging free.

The PWD official said 52-60 percent of desilting work has been completed so far and hoped that despite interruption due to lockdown, it will be completed on time.

The public works department maintains 1260-km roads in the national capital.

According to rough estimate, there are around 2,000 drains, spanning around 1,054 kilometres, which come under the PWD, the official said.

The drains in the national capital come under jurisdiction of mainly five agencies. The bigger, major drains fall under PWD, DSIID and Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Delhi Jal Board and the MCDs.

Prakash said there are 192 big drains with depth of more than four feet, under the jurisdiction of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and their combined length is 112.25 kms.

About 70 percent of total silt, or 25,000 metric tonnes (MT), have been removed from these drains. “Our target is to ensure no waterlogging in areas under the NDMC, but the PWD and other agencies must cooperate to make it happen,” said the North Delhi mayor.

He said the outfall of small municipal corporation drains are in bigger drains of Delhi government agencies including the PWD.

'If all agencies worked together before the monsoon, then Delhi can be saved from waterlogging,' Prakash said.

In late May, the mayors of three BJP-ruled MCDs had claimed that work on desilting of municipal drains ahead of the onset of monsoon in the national capital will be completed by June 20.

East Delhi mayor Nirmal Jain said there are 219 drains under the jurisdiction of the EDMC. There are 21 permanent pumping stations and180 portable pumps to ensure water is quickly pumped out after rains, Jain added.

In Shahdara North zone, over 13,000 MT of silt has been extracted while in Shahdara South Zone about 12,900 MT of silt has been take out. So a total of nearly 26,000 MT of slit is being removed, he said.

The total silt to be removed out of these drains is 46,000 MT and before June 20, it should be done, Jain said.

Control rooms have been set up in each zone and a complaint centre at EDMC headquarters in Patparganj is functional, the mayor said.

In areas under South Delhi Municipal Corporation, work on desilting of drains is going on in full swing, and about 94 percent of the work is done (25,800 MT silt removed), said Rajdutt Gehlot, chairman of standing committee of the SDMC.

The maximum silt has been removed from ward number 35 in Najafgarh Zone, he said, adding there are 263 drains in areas under the SDMC.

Vulnerable areas where waterlogging generally occurs include locations in Lajpat Nagar, Uttam Nagar, among other places, he said.

'Our target is to ensure not an inch of waterlogging happens in our areas this monsoon,' Gehlot claimed. PTI VIT/KND AQS AQS