The 44 barrels situated at the culmination points of 44 huge nullahs at Gomti play an important role in warding off waterlogging in the city. These barrels stop the river water from entering the city and inject city water ( nullah flow ) into the river during heavy rain.
Out of these 44 barrels, 14 are run by diesel. The rest are run by power and in case of power cuts, by generators.
Gomti flow remains sluggish throughout the year, except during the monsoon when heavy rainfall causes increase in the runoff. When Gomti overflows, the water starts entering inside the city through these huge nullahs but gates of these barrels stop rain water from entering the city. Nullah water is pumped out into the river through huge pumps.
Corporator of Subhash Chandra Bose ward Sayyed Yawar Hussain Reshu says, “The LMC administration focuses on cleaning nullahs but neglects other equally critical issues like testing of barrel pumps before the onset of the monsoon. At many barrels, one cannot find the operators. They leave the pumps abandoned. At some places, there is no diesel to run the pumps and at others, the pump does not performing to full capacity.”
“It is a shame that in a city like Lucknow, where civic administrators do not plan properly, the irrigation department, LMC, LDA, Jal Nigam and Jal Sansthan all work in their own style, due to lack of coordination between all these civic departments. Needless to state, the worst sufferer is the public which is forced to stay indoors during the rainy season,” said Reshu.
The barrels are very important for saving the city from large scale waterlogging like the one witnessed in 2006 and 2007 when the entire trans- Gomti area and cattle colony were submerged under knee-deep water. Last year too trans-Gomti areas of Jankipuram , Jankipuram extension and Aliganj were inundated.