Work day and night to de-silt drains before arrival of monsoon: Delhi PWD to engineers

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New Delhi, Jul 2 (PTI) Delhi's public works department (PWD) has asked its officials to work 'day and night' to finish de-silting of drains before arrival of monsoon and said responsibility of executive engineers will be fixed in case of 'untoward incident' due to waterlogging.

'The progress of de-silting was reviewed last week and it was observed that some of the executive engineers are far behind their target,' the department's Engineer-in-Chief, Shashi Kant, said.

Kant has also issued a circular, stressing that the responsibility of executive engineers will be fixed in case of any 'untoward incident' due to waterlogging.

Last year, a delay in cleaning of drains had led to extensive waterlogging in many parts of the city due to heavy rains and a 56-year-old man allegedly drowned after his mini-truck was submerged under the Minto Bridge in central Delhi.

Chief engineers of maintenance zones have been directed to take necessary remedial measures and instruct executive engineers to 'work day and night for de-silting of drains so that it is completed within minimum possible time,' Kant said.

'Executive engineers (EE) may be instructed to do the needful urgently and responsibility be fixed of concerned EE for any untoward incident in their jurisdiction,' the circular said.

The PWD manages 2,050 kms of drains along 1,260 kms of road across 17 divisions of the city.

De-silting of nearly 90 per cent drains has been completed, according to PWD officials, who blamed delay in some areas on labour crunch due to the second wave of the Covid pandemic.

'We had started the de-silting process on time but it got delayed in the middle because of scarcity of labourers. Availability of labourers became tough during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic as many returned to their home towns,” a PWD official said requesting anonymity.

The official said that de-silting has to be done only in a few areas and that will be completed in a few days.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that there is 'no chance' of monsoon reaching the city till July 7.

Normally, monsoon reaches Delhi by June 27 and covers the entire country by July 8. Last year, the wind system had reached Delhi on June 25 and covered the entire country by June 29. PTI AKM ANB ANB

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