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Blame Games for waterlogging

If you've been wading through four feet of water on your drive to work and back each time it rains, here's why. The frenzied construction work being carried out for the Commonwealth Games has choked Delhi's main stormwater drains that carry excess rainwater to Yamuna. Neelam Pandey reports.

delhi Updated: Aug 21, 2010 01:26 IST
Neelam Pandey

If you've been wading through four feet of water on your drive to work and back each time it rains, here's why.

The frenzied construction work being carried out for the Commonwealth Games has choked Delhi's main stormwater drains that carry excess rainwater to Yamuna. This is now causing waterlogging and massive traffic jams.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), which is responsible for cleaning most stormwater drains, has now said due to construction of elevated road over Barapulla Nallah (drain) by the Public Works Department (PWD), a major section has been covered with construction debris, broken slabs and bricks, making it impossible for rainwater to flow through it.

Parts of South and Central Delhi are getting flooded for this reason.

It is the same story at Ring Road near Rajghat and Hanuman Setu, one of the worst waterlogged areas in the city. Stormwater drains here are also clogged with debris from another Commonwealth Games construction site.

"There are four bays at Barapulla Nallah through which rainwater flows. Due to CWG-related construction work being carried out, three bays have got blocked," said a senior MCD official.

"Water is not able to flow through it. When it rained on Thursday and Friday, areas such as Khan Market, Lodhi Colony, Golf Links, Defence Colony, South Extension were completely waterlogged due to this," the official added.

Passing the buck to their counterparts, the MCD claimed they can clean drains only after debris has been removed by the PWD.

"As PWD is carrying out construction work, it is their responsibility to clean the drains. We have been telling them for quite some time but they have not bothered to clean it till now," added the official.

The PWD confirmed such a problem was taking place. "We were told about the problem," Delhi PWD minister Raj Kumar Chauhan. "We have asked the construction agency to clear the drain which got blocked due to construction material."

At many places including Greater Kailash I and II, residents have covered stormwater drains to create parking space in front of their home, leaving no space for rainwater to flow through.

The Walled City has also been hit by construction activities related to CWG.

The Delhi Gate drain has been blocked by debris that carried storm water as well as sewage from the Walled City areas including Ranjit Singh Marg, Daryaganj, Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg.

"The waterways have been completely filled with building debris, broken slabs and shuttering. Due to this, there has been flooding in many of the surrounding areas," the MCD official said.