Uttarakhand capital’s ambitious storm water drainage plan is lying in cold storage for the past six years despite the fact that the city experiences water logging every year even after a mild rain, Jal Nigam officials said on Monday.
They said the main reason behind this was lack of funding. They feared if appropriate steps were not taken to implement the plan, Doon could face a Chennai-like situation.
The plan was prepared by the Uttarakhand Pey Jal Nigam in 2009 to rework the storm water drainage system to drain off excess rain and ground water in the state capital. The plan, which was expected to cost Rs 400 crore then, has been revised twice since, but it has as remained stuck in the files due to lack of funding. The delay has led to rise in the cost manifold.
Still on papers
Officials said a Gurgaon-based consultant agency was given the task of preparing the drainage plan. The agency readied the detailed project report (DPR) at the cost of around R 427 crore in 2009. The project was applied for funding under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) but could not get cleared.
In 2012, the Nigam revised the report when the estimated cost of the project rose to around R 500 crore, but it failed to take off yet again owing to lack of funds. The DPR was then revised once again last year with the estimated cost rising to around R 700 crore. However, the same again remained stuck with the state government, officials said.
As per the plan, the drainage system of the city’s seven major drains was to be rectified, followed by connecting the smaller drains of the city with the main drainage network to provide a long-lasting solution to water logging problem. “It (waterlogging) occurs every year in the city but it appears that hardly any concrete steps are taken to resolve it,” said Sudhir Taneja, a resident of Ballupur area whose house was inundated with rain water during monsoons this year.
Executive engineer of Uttarakhand Pey Jal Nigam Sujeet Kumar Vikas said that the Nigam had now applied for funding under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme of the central government. “Since the project cost is huge, we have applied for it under AMRUT for funding for the year 2016-17. We have submitted the proposal for the same as a part of the (city-level) service level implementation plan which will now be studied by a high-powered committed (constituted by the state government) for inclusion in the state’s annual action plan for AMRUT,” Vikas said.
Mayor Vinod Chamoli said that the DMC was also trying to remove as many encroachments as possible over the drains and along local streams to ensure easy draining off of excess water during rains. “Besides the storm water drainage plan, it is also necessary to remove encroachments that block the natural flow of water, further aggravating water logging in the city,” Chamoli said.