The great blame game | delhi | Hindustan Times
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The great blame game

delhi Updated: Jul 14, 2010 00:17 IST
Sheila Dikshit

A day after a heavy downpour brought Delhi down to its knees, flooding vast areas and stopping traffic on its tracks, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit asked civic agencies to improve the drainage system and repair damaged roads.

Dikshit met senior officers of the road building and construction departments and civic agencies, and asked them to ensure the drainage system worked fine and the construction sites were cleared of debris to reduce chances of waterlogging on important roads.

There were miles-long traffic jams stretching up to 4-5 hours on Monday evening after a heavy downpour.

Several important roads and underpasses were submerged, blocking the movement of traffic. At least 11 persons, including two women and three children, were killed in rain-related incidents.

Senior Delhi government officials said the chief minister expressed her unhappiness over complaints of rubble choking the drainage system.

"She has asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to submit a report on its preparedness for the monsoon," said a Delhi government official who was part of the meeting.

The chief minister visited several construction sites to see how they were being managed.

The MCD, however, claimed that most areas that were waterlogged on Monday did not fall in its jurisdiction.

In a high-level meeting attended by the mayor, chairman of the standing committee and several senior officers and engineers, the agency blamed the Public Works Department and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for the flooding.

"It was pointed out in the meeting that several other government departments were carrying out development works and the rubble was making way to the drains, choking them," said Deep Mathur, director press and information, MCD.

Delhi government officials said DMRC officials had agreed to hand over roads that it had taken over to facilitate Metro construction.

"The problem is the agencies do not learn lessons from failures. Earlier, Minto Bridge and Tilak Bridge used to be the major waterlogging points. Now, Moolchand, Dhaula Kuan and Wazirpur underpasses, which have come up in the past 6-8 years, get waterlogged. The ITO underpass is not even a year old," said a traffic officer.