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Capital flooded with ‘relief’

delhi Updated: Jun 01, 2009 00:03 IST
Nivedita Khandekar
Nivedita Khandekar
Hindustan Times
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Our apologies to purists… but what could have been the mid-summer night’s dream — thanks to 43.4 mm rains a little past midnight — turned out to be a nightmare for Delhiites.

While the showers ensured the mercury remained well below the 40° Celsius mark, they also caused waterlogging in several areas of the Capital.

Many who ventured out for their morning walk, might have thought the monsoon had bypassed Kerala and western India to reach Delhi directly.

“I stepped out for my morning walk at 6 am. Not only was the road filled with muck, the DDA park nearby had pools of water. I wonder if rain gods have been too benevolent,” said Savita Garg (63), a resident of Sheikh Sarai.

Sheikh Sarai chowk was one of the worst affected areas of the 14 areas in the Capital that experienced waterlogging.

Other areas included Palam Road, Sangam Vihar, Moolchand Underpass, Jahangirpuri and Hari Nagar Extension among others. Despite claims that drains have been de-silted, several roads reported waterlogging.

Sunil Mitra, riding his old Bajaj scooter from R.K. Puram to Karol Bagh, cribbed, “Why can’t the authorities ensure that roads remain water-free. And these aren’t even the monsoons. I dread to think what will happen when the actual rainy season starts.”

Sunday was another instance when the weather beat the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

However, MCD officials claimed that work for de-silting had started in September 2008 this time and almost 95 per cent of the drains have been taken care of.

“The commissioner personally reviews the work every week and analyses data as to how much silt has been removed and what is the quantity that reaches the sanitary landfill site.

“He has also passed on strict instructions to the staff and the officers to properly clean the gully gratings and the bell mouse so that the drains remain choke-free due to garbage etc,” the civic agency’s public relations director Deep Mathur said.

One “strategic change” the MCD had resorted to was that it employed its own staff for desilting, unlike other years, when the job was outsourced.

Met forecasts more rains today

‘Cyclonic circulation’, ‘low pressure area’ or ‘Western disturbances’ — all these non-comprehensible names were responsible for the pre-monsoon rains that lashed the Capital early on Sunday.

Fortunately, it was a holiday otherwise, with 43.4 mm rains recorded till 8.30 am, Delhiites would have had a tough time reaching their offices negotiating the waterlogged roads.

The showers brought down the mercury with the maximum temperature touching 35.8° Celsius, five degrees below normal. The minimum temperature recorded was 21°C, Met department officials said.

Explaining the reason for the pre-monsoon showers, the officials said Western disturbances and/or low pressure areas leading to cyclonic circulation were responsible for “before the season” rains and also asserted that “rains in May is not an unusual phenomenon”.

The weatherman has forecast partly cloudy sky with rain/thundershower and hail/thunder squall in some areas for Monday.

The mercury is likely to hover between 36°C (maximum) and 24°C (minimum). May had begun with a sizzling 44.2°C, the season’s highest and ended on a cooler note with 43.4 mm rains.

In the past 10 years, May had recorded maximum above 44°C five times. The record for the past 10 years was 46°C, which was recorded on May 19, 2002.