It seems the SAS Nagar municipal corporation (MC) is yet to learn a lesson from the waterlogging problem plaguing the town since a couple of years. Five years on, the body has failed to plug the faulty storm water drainage system.
The civic body is yet to fast track the work of cleaning the sewerage and drainage system. A survey by HT points out that majority of road gullies on internal roads of sectors and phases are blocked. Considering that the MC authorities have turned a deaf ear to the problem going on since years, expecting them to be prepared before it rains will be something of a miracle.
To deal with waterlog-ging, Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had tied up with the urban drainage department of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai, two years ago, which gave some recommendations, but the authorities are yet to start working on it.
In 2008, then municipal council (now MC) had claimed that a proposal to upgrade the drainage system in SAS Nagar under the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission had been approved, and in 2009, residents would have an effective drainage system, but, seeing the condition of the roads, that is far from true.
Speaking to HT, local Congress member of legislative assembly (MLA) Balbir Singh Sidhu said, “Residents will suffer this year as well due to lack of coordination between public health and municipal authorities. As per the procedure, public health department submits the estimates for laying storm water drainage lines and the municipal council approves the funds required.
However, due to some dispute between the two bodies, no progress has been made so far. Public health officials have sent several communications to MC on the issue, but the latter have not responded.”
The worst-affected areas are Phases 3B1, 3B2, 4, 5 and Sector 70, 71. Last year, residents of Phase 5, 11, Sector 65C and pockets of 65A, B and D had to struggle to stop water from entering their houses.
SAS Nagar MC commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta said, “We have conducted meetings with officials concerned regarding preparedness for monsoon. I have also directed them to check faulty storm water drainage system.”
Arun Goyal, member, Resident Welfare Association, Sector 66, said, “Residents of low-lying areas are the worst affected during rains. Despite taking up the issue with the MC, nothing has been done. Tall claims of officials have fallen flat, as till date, they have not been able to start drainage work.”
“Why is SAS Nagar called the future city when residents don’t even have the basic facilities? Every year, we face the problem of waterlogging and it has become a common sight in Phase 3B1, 3B2, 4 and 5. The absence of a proper drainage system and scores of roads filled with potholes collecting rain water are just a couple of reasons why SAS Nagar may just be sitting on an epidemic waiting to explode,” said another SAS Nagar resident and chairman of Resident Welfare Association, Phase3B1, Khuswant Singh Kharbanda.
“Every year, there is 3-4 feet water flowing inside the industrial units in industrial area in Phase 7, 9 and 8B. We do not know why the authorities concerned are not bothered about such a serious problem,” said Nikhil Saraf, president of Mohali Industry and Commerce Association.