HC seeks AAP govt's response on PIL seeking reconstruction of drains in Najafgarh

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New Delhi, Nov 5 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought the AAP government's response on a PIL seeking reconstruction of all drains in Najafgarh here and their proper cleaning to avoid waterlogging which, according to the plea, is a perennial problem in the area.

The petition, by an assistant professor, has contended that despite earlier directions by the high court in 2016 to take steps to fix the problem, no action has been taken by the Public Works Department (PWD) which is responsible for the maintenance of the drains in the area.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, while issuing notice to the Delhi government, asked it whether any step has been taken as was directed by the high court in the past.

The counsel for the Delhi government told the court that the claims of the petitioner, Ravinder Yadav, were not correct.

The bench asked the Delhi government to file an affidavit indicating its response to the claims in the petition and listed it for hearing on December 7.

Yadav, in his plea, has contended that despite filing repeated writ petitions and contempt cases since 2016 against the authorities concerned, people of the area have not received any relief.

'Drains have not been connected to the main drain; drains have not been constructed by taking proper bed level of drains, they have not been cleaned and there is no flow of water in the drains. It has led to heavy water logging year after year,' the petition claimed.

It also alleged that 'misleading/contradictory affidavits' with regard to steps taken were filed by the authorities in the earlier petitions.

Yadav has further stated in his plea that the PWD has reconstructed the roads in the area by raising their heights. But due to lack of slope on either side water accumulates on the roads, he said.

In some areas, the drains are on a higher level than the roads, Yadav has said.

Moreover, drains on the side of the roads are not connected to the main drain and therefore, there is no flow of water which accumulates and floods the road and even the nearby colonies, the petition has said.

Yadav, in his petition, has claimed that in July, rain water got into the metro tunnel near Khaira Mor as all the drains were choked. It happened again in August leading to the collapse of a 300 metre stretch of an under-construction tunnel and dismantling of the site as a result, he said.

The petition has further stated that several representations in this regard were made to the authorities and the government but no action has been taken.

Besides proper reconstruction of the drains and their connection to the main Najafgarh drain, the petition also seeks an enquiry into the dismantling of the Khaira Mor metro site which allegedly caused a pecuniary loss of Rs 50 crore to the government.

The plea also seeks 'an audit of the amount spent in the name of cleaning, construction of drains in Najafgarh by PWD in the last eight years' and action against the officials who allegedly filed 'false' affidavits in court. PTI HMP NSD NSD