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Civic bodies gear up to repair roads

Traffic moving at snail's pace and waterlogged roads. Delhiites are all too familiar with this scenario and the fact that it makes walking on city roads virtually impossible, every monsoon.

delhi Updated: Apr 17, 2011 23:44 IST
Neelam Pandey

Traffic moving at snail's pace and waterlogged roads. Delhiites are all too familiar with this scenario and the fact that it makes walking on city roads virtually impossible, every monsoon.

It seems this year is not going to be any different.

For the past several years, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has been setting deadlines for cleaning storm water drains and filling up potholes before the monsoon.

And every year, without fail, they miss their own deadline.

Yet, learning from last year's mistake, when early rains had caught the civic agency unawares and affected their desilting deadline, this year the civic body has managed to complete 25% of desilting work, after working throughout the year.

The desilting deadline ends on May 31.

There are 1,500 stormwater drains under MCD jurisdiction.

"Desilting work has already started and we have managed to complete 25% so far. We have set a target of May-end and we will achieve it," said Yogender Chandolia, chairman of MCD Standing Committee.

"Silt that keeps on lying on the roads is another major factor due to which drains get clogged, causing waterlogging. We will ensure silt is removed before May-end," Chandolia added.

Meanwhile, the Delhi traffic police have sent a list of vulnerable stretches to all concerned agencies, asking them to get their act together before the monsoon, to ensure traffic is not affected.

But what makes matters worse is the fact that civic agencies are yet to start work on the list of stretches.

Out of the 339 roads, 164 are under the Municipal Corporation of Delhi 's (MCD) jurisdiction, followed by Public the Works Department (PWD), that has 103 roads in its area and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), that has 48 roads under its jurisdiction.

MCD, with the highest number of roads in its area, is yet to begin work.

"We have already started desilting stormwater drains. After receiving the list from the traffic police, the MCD commissioner has directed deputy commissioners of various zones to carry out repair work, fill up potholes and clean drains to prevent waterlogging. We will start work on them soon," said Deep Mathur, director, press and information, MCD.

Meanwhile, NDMC officials said that the situation had worsened in their area as a number of roads had caved in last year and are yet to be freshly laid.

"We will be getting the drains cleaned properly as, at times, they get clogged with leaves and polythene bags. We will repair the potholes, too, wherever required on the stretches," said a senior NDMC official.

Plagued by regular complaints of waterlogging, the MCD had, in 2008, decided to replace all bitumen roads in the Capital with concrete.

However, it seems to have fallen flat, as evident from last year's chaos.