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It rains chaos on roads

A downpour of few hours that began on Saturday morning made the weekend pleasant for Delhiites but threw life in many parts of the national capital completely out of gear as chaos reigned on city roads.

delhi Updated: Aug 01, 2010 08:53 IST

A downpour of few hours that began on Saturday morning made the weekend pleasant for Delhiites but threw life in many parts of the national capital completely out of gear as chaos reigned on city roads.

Rains, one of the heaviest this season, again caused the same disturbing scenes - flooding in low-lying areas, traffic snarls, uprooting of trees and harried commuters. Fortunately being a weekend, many office goers and school children didn't have to face the problem on the chaotic roads.

The serpentine queues of vehicles at many places again showed up the unpreparedness of civic authorities to restore normalcy on Delhi's roads as the rainfall, measuring 62.5 mm, disrupted normal life which was only restored by the evening.

Commuters who set off for their offices in the morning had to battle disorder due to waterlogged roads, vehicle breakdowns and queues of cars, buses, two-wheelers and auto-rickshaws.

Most affected were the Model Town, Mahipalpur, Vasant Kunj, Zakhira Flyover, South Extension, Amar Colony, Sangam Vihar, Mori Gate, Lodi Road, Lala Lajpat Rai Marg, ISBT Kashmere Gate, Mayapuri Chowk, and Dhaula Kuan crossing.

From the morning till noon, traffic was stuck or at the best crawled at less than a kilometre an hour speed in places like South Extension, Hauz Khas, Munirka, Ashram and Naraina.

Delhi residents had a litany of woes.

"I had to walk along a road under ankle deep water. I saw vehicles stuck near South Extension as the roads were jammed... Thanks to the civic authorities who have dug up the entire city in preparations for the Commonwealth Games," said Shakuntala Chatterjee, who works with a publishing house.

"It took me nearly two hours to reach office on Rao Tula Ram Marg from my home in South Extension. On a normal day, it takes a maximum of 15 minutes," an angry Chatterjee said.

"Delhi plans to become a world-class city but it is a shame that we cannot manage traffic and waterlogging on a rainy day like this which is quite expected during monsoon."

Shravan Kumar, who works in a car showroom, said many of his colleagues could not reach office Saturday and "the showroom had to shut down".

Priyanka Virmani, an HR executive working in Gurgaon, said: "I was stuck in a jam for more than one hour on the road between Adhchini and MG road. I reached my office two hours late," she said.

According to the India Meteorological Department, the city received 62.5 mm of rainfall from 8.30 a.m. to 5:30 pm on Saturday, taking the total amount of rainfall this monsoon season to 306 mm.

And, as has been the case in the past, several roads were flooded with overflow from choked drains.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) control room was inundated with complaints of flooding in several residential areas.

"We received 94 complaints of water logging due to rain, 20 complaints of falling of trees and five complaints of collapsing of building portions from various parts of the city," said an MCD official.

However, many, mostly children, were seen enjoying and dancing in the rain as it brought relief from the days of muggy weather with maximum temperature plummeting four notches below average.

The maximum temperature was recorded at a pleasant 29.6 degrees Celsius while the minimum, three notches below average, was 24 degrees.

The humidity levels oscillated between a high of 98 percent and low of 83 percent, the weather officials said.

"The skies will remain cloudy Sunday with one or two spells of rain and thundershowers. The maximum and minimum temperatures will hover around 31 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees, respectively," an official said.