Lack of coordination between the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and Public Works Department (PWD) has left New Friends Colony (NFC) lanes waterlogged. According to residents, though the SDMC has completed work to construct drains in the internal lanes, no outfall has been provided to the main drain by PWD.
Given the poor condition of the drainage system here, SDMC approved a project two and half years ago to reconstruct drains, internal roads and pavement. It allocated a budget of Rs 7.5 crores for the project. “However, the work could be started only 18 months back,” said Rohit Kumar, member New Friends Colony RWA.
The residents claim that while the work was in progress, they approached SDMC requesting that it must ensure proper outfall to drainage system. “We were told that the internal drains are connected to the main drain at Ashoka Park Road which belongs to PWD. And PWD has to ensure that the main drain is connected to nullah near Khizarbad for proper outfall so that the rain water is not accumulated on the surface,” said Hema Badhwar Mehra, vice president, New Friends Colony RWA. SDMC officials said the persistent water logging is PWD’s fault and the agency is aware of the situation.
Following this, the PWD was also apprised about the concern of residents and the area MLA was requested to resolve the matter at the earliest. “SDMC also wrote to PWD but the department put blame back on SDMC for constructing new drains without proper planning. Finally, PWD started the digging work on main drain about one month back and assured to provide outfall by July 15. But the work is still going on,” said Mehra. On the other hand a senior PWD official said that they were informed about the outfall problem only at the last minute and that they swung into action as soon as they were approached by the RWA.
Residents said it is apparent that there was no inter departmental meeting to coordinate the work between SDMC, PWD and Delhi Jal Board (DJB). Residents are also not happy with the quality of work done by SDMC. It was stated that with the heavy rainfall on Tuesday, the freshly paved sidewalks sank leaving deep pits. Newly constructed roads have been washed away and deep craters are visible at several places.
Vinod Sondhi, secretary, NFC RWA said, “We spent hours with the project engineers, cajoling the contractor to comply with the deadline while no senior official visited the site.” The RWA has written a letter to the Deputy Commissioner, SDMC Mona Sreenivas to investigate the matter. A senior SDMC official said, “We have done our job and we can’t carry the construction work on PWD’s road that’s why the agency was asked to provide the outfall. As far as the damage to road and pavements is concerned, we will arrange a visit and verify the situation.”