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That sinking feeling again

Knee-deep rainwater in many parts of the city brought traffic to a halt on Tuesday making even the municipal councillors question the desilting work being carried out by the civic agency.

delhi Updated: Jul 20, 2010 23:30 IST
Neelam Pandey

Knee-deep rainwater in many parts of the city brought traffic to a halt on Tuesday making even the municipal councillors question the desilting work being carried out by the civic agency.

More than 100 municipal councillors on Tuesday wrote to the Works Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) complaining that no desilting work had been carried out in their respective areas till date. This is despite the MCD claiming that it has been carrying out desilting work throughout the year.

What proves the MCD's claim wrong is that it received 111 complaints about waterlogging from various parts of the city at its control room on Tuesday.

In many areas the situation was so bad that motorists were stuck in 3-km long traffic jams.

“If they have cleaned the drains, then why are the roads waterlogged? These are all false promises they make every year and this year is no different,” said Aradhana Sharma, a motorist who was stuck in the jam at Ashram on her way to Badarpur.

Several areas in the city such as Ashram, Badarpur, Chandni Chowk, Mathura Road, Rohini, Lajpat Nagar, Mehrauli Gurgaon Road, Jama Masjid, Bhogal, Munirka, Malviya Nagar, Trans Yamuna, Karol Bagh among others were severely affected.

But the civic agency claimed that all waterlogged points were promptly attended to and quickly cleared. “All zonal deputy commissioners, chief engineers and other officers were in the areas under their jurisdiction supervising the field-level staff operating de-watering pumps,” said Deep Mathur, director press and information, MCD.

Jagdish Mamgain, chairman of the MCD’s Works Committee, said, “I have received letters from a number of councillors both from the BJP as well as Congress. Many have claimed that desilting work has not even carried out one in their area. I will forward these letters to the municipal commissioner.”

“I have also been told that most of the workers who are supposed to clean these drains have not been reporting to work,” he added.

The civic agency is responsible for cleaning more than 1,500 drains in its jurisdiction and this year it has pressed its own staff to carry out the work.

But BJP councillor from Pitampura said, “In my area, work is yet to start in many places. When I told the sanitation department to carry out desilting work, they told me the maintenance department is supposed to clean it.”

“Why should the public suffer because of this infighting between various departments? Many areas in my ward were completely waterlogged.”

Rohini’s councillor Prawesh Wahi said, “There has certainly been a lapse in the desilting work being carried out.”