The first 50 out of the 167 waterlogging-prone spots in Delhi have remained unchanged for the last decade.
Delhi Traffic Police’s annual list of the most waterlogged stretches has repeatedly featured at least 100 stretches. Traffic officials said every year between February and April, stretches around the city were examined by local traffic units and the list was prepared.
The most vulnerable stretches include Adarsh Nagar-Hakikat Nagar-Jahangirpuri Metro Station, Anand Parbat Road near Gali No. 10, Archana T-point (Greater Kailash), Mukarba Chowk to Model Town via Azadpur, Bhishma Pitamaha Marg towards Pragati Vihar Hostel, Hansraj Gupta Marg, and DND Flyover towards Maharani Bagh.
From March, the list is sent to all civic agencies concerned so that desilting and road repairs are carried before monsoons, so that traffic on the roads is not affected.
“Every year a fresh list is prepared. Since no remedial action is taken by civic and road agencies, some stretches repeatedly feature in the list. In March, we start writing to agencies to complete all the repair work. It is also followed by repeated reminders. But that’s all we can do,” said a senior traffic official.
He also said some stretches such as Adhchini T-Point on Aurbindo Marg, Andheria Mor on MG Road, Barf Khana Chowk to Tis Hazari, and 100-foot T-point Anuvrat Marg, have featured in the list for the past 15 years.
Transport and city planning experts said many busy junctions were waterlogged due to encroachment and manual desilting of drains.
“The entire natural drainage line of the city has been encroached upon. When the city was planned during the British rule, slopes were made so that rainwater can find a natural outlet. But over time, these water outlets have either been blocked or the slopes are mindlessly concretised,” said Dr Sendil Kumar, a researcher on urban city planning at IIT Delhi.
He also said the city had expanded rapidly, but its drainage hadn’t. Another problem is civic apathy.
Every year, the monsoon exposes the claims of the Public Works Department (PWD), the three municipal corporations, and the New Delhi Municipal Council that the drains have been desilted.
“By June 15, all the arterial roads in our jurisdiction were repaired and the drains cleared. However, since many local roads that are maintained by the civic corporations connect with our roads, these get waterlogged,” said a PWD official.