Why Delhi can’t fix its floodgates | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Why Delhi can’t fix its floodgates

Delhi’s roads remained chaotic on Tuesday morning as peak-hour commuters got stuck in traffic jams extending to several kilometres on many arterial roads, reports Avishek G. Dastidar.

delhi Updated: Jul 29, 2009 01:15 IST
Avishek G. Dastidar

Delhi’s roads remained chaotic on Tuesday morning as peak-hour commuters got stuck in traffic jams extending to several kilometres on many arterial roads.

Though it did not rain, it took hours to recover from Monday’s mayhem — when 126 mm rainfall wreaked havoc on the roads, with traffic snarls reported even after midnight.

And 24 hours after the crisis, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) admitted to a terrible blunder. It said several drains that were de-silted prior to the monsoon choked with the very silt that was taken out of them, causing the floods.

Reason: while one set of workers de-silted the drains spending Rs 20 crore of taxpayers’ money this season, another set of workers responsible for removing the extracted silt did not do its job.

“Silt was lying outside the drains,” said MCD spokesman Deep Mathur.

“The commissioner inspected on Tuesday and directed the sanitary staff to remove the silt immediately,” he added.

In other words, a city readying itself to host the Commonwealth Games next year — with infrastructure works worth Rs 16,500 crore — came to a standstill because of sarkaari inefficiency.

Between Monday and Tuesday, 130 traffic lights went kaput. And unruly drivers made matters worse. “Impatient drivers drive on the other side of the road and form a gridlock,” said S.N. Shrivastava, joint commissioner, traffic.

(With inputs from Nivedita Khandekar and Neelam Pandey.)