The municipal corporation's tall claims of spending more than Rs 2 crore on cleaning road gullies fell flat on Saturday as the two-hour rainfall inundated roads, flooded roundabouts and forced residents at several places to take out water from their houses.
A public health department report points out why the situation turned so bad. Road gullies in nearly 20 sectors were not cleaned and only 100 men were hired to clean 30,000 road gullies. These reasons were more than enough for the water supply committee members to demand action against the negligent officials.
More so because the committee claims that it had repeatedly been asking the public health department to carry out the work in advance, but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
Every year, funds worth Rs 9 crore are allocated for maintaining sewerage and drainage system in the city and Saturday's rainfall showed that how serious is the MC in preventing the city from facing a deluge.
SAD-BJP councillor Malkait Singh, whose area was the most affected said, "We have failed to understand, why they do not start the work of cleaning the road gullies well in advance. We have been repeatedly raising the issue in the house meetings, but these officers do not pay heed to any request. If the two-hour rain can create havoc, what will happen in the coming days?"
"In Sector 41, residents were found struggling to wade their way through knee-deep waters and even Badheri village suffered. Though I requested them to clean the villages falling under my ward, they have not yet started the work despite the allocation of a huge budget at the disposal of the official concerned," he added.
Speaking to HT, chairman of the water supply and sewerage disposal committee of the MC Mukesh Bassi said, "Enough is enough. We will be meeting the MC commissioner on Monday on this issue and will ask him to fix the responsibility of the officers concerned. In several meetings, we have directed them to clean the road gullies, but they have not done it. Even in their status report, the public health department has admitted that they have not cleaned the road gullies of nearly 20 sectors."
The ill-preparedness of the MC was also visible in southern sectors. The situation was bad in Sectors 31, 35, 37, 38, 40, 41, 44, 45, 49, 51 and 52. Manimajra residents also faced a tough time in crossing the potholed roads, ankle-deep in water. Dadumajra, Mauli Jagran and colonies number 4, 5 were inundated too.
According to a senior official of the MC, there are around 30,000 road gullies in the city and every year during the monsoon, the MC spends nearly Rs 2 crore on cleaning and replacing its cover. Besides, every year, the MC hires nearly 100 people on temporary basis for the cleaning job.
"Road gullies can barely be cleaned once before the onset of the monsoon as there are a large number of road gullies in comparison to the number of labourers. Besides, due to lack of adequate supervision, the work of cleaning the road gullies is not being done in a satisfactory manner," he added.