Every monsoon, civic agencies play the blame game when choked drains lead to waterlogging. This year, it’s slightly different. The blame game has begun before the rains. The three new civic agencies, led by the BJP, have alleged that the Public Works Department (PWD) has not started cleaning the drains.
The three agencies — North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) — say they had almost completed cleaning the drains under their jurisdiction.
According to them, almost 745km of MCD roads, measuring 60 feet and above, have been transferred to PWD, which is also responsible for cleaning the storm water drains that run alongside. “We are now mostly responsible for maintaining colony roads. We have been cleaning the drains for the entire year,” said Subhash Arya, leader of the SDMC House.
The agencies say all their work will come undone if the PWD does not clean the outflow drains in time. “Rainwater from our drains flows into bigger drains maintained by PWD. If those are not cleaned, the water will flow back and cause waterlogging,” said Mahender Nagpal, leader of the NDMC House.
But PWD officials claim that though the deadline for transferring MCD roads to the agency is long over, the process of transfer is on. “We have finished desilting roads. We have also begun work on drains of roads that were transferred to us by these civic bodies. These agencies have been handing us new roads every day, so naturally work on them started late. But we are confident of completing the work before monsoons,” said Raj Kumar Chauhan, PWD minister.
This is the first time the three bodies are carrying out desilting work separately. The traffic police have already sent out a list of areas prone to waterlogging.
While civic agencies claim all the silt removed from the drains has been dumped at sanitary landfill sites, but every year the muck is left outside. When it rains, the silt makes its way back to the drains, which floods them and causes waterlogging.