The coming monsoon season is likely to wash away the government’s tall claims of being prepared to deal with heavy rains. The perennial problem of waterlogging will be no better this time too.
Reason — The Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) has not yet started desilting storm water drains even though monsoon is expected to hit the city within a week.
The authority has not constructed even a single rainwater harvesting structure in sectors, parks and designated places as planned two months ago. “As many as 40 rainwater harvesting structures will be constructed at Huda parks and desilting of storm water drains will continue as well. We are doing everything possible to avoid water clogging in the city,” said Huda administrator Praveen Kumar.
Contrary to the administration claim, a patch of nearly 2-km in the service lanes along the highway between Rajiv Chowk and Hero Honda Chowk continues to be submerged in knee-deep water.
MG Road’s service lanes and a 5-km patch from Rajiv Chowk to Badshahpur on Sohna Road is also prone to waterlogging.
“We continue to desilt sector drains regularly. As we do not have a fixed budget for the task, maintenance of drains is the responsibility of the contractors who construct the drains. They have to maintain the drains for five years free of cost as per Huda rules,” said a Huda sub-divisional officer, on condition of anonymity.
Master drains and master sewers dispose waste water into natural drains in the city.
“Authorities should pull up contractors but they have not taken any action. In Gurgaon, I have never seen anyone desilting drains,” said Bhim Singh Yadav, a resident of Sector 22.
Residents grope in dark, streetlights shine on
Reeling under long outages, the power-starved Millennium City also has to contend with wastage of power on streetlights lining major roads.
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) vigilance department found that 20-25% streetlights happen to be lit at all hours, with a majority on prime roads such as Southern Peripheral Road (SPR), Sohna Road, and on other residential sector roads.
“On Jharsa Bandh, lights can be seen on all day often, despite reminders by RWA members,” said Ramesh Vasistha, a resident of sector 15.
Huda administrator Praveen Kumar has asked the electricity department to pull up contractors and deduct the amount from their account if required.
Currently, four contractors handle streetlight maintenance in the Huda sectors under the supervision of junior engineers.
“I have asked all junior engineers to file weekly reports and take relevant action against the contractors,” said Arun Dhankhar, executive engineer, Huda, electricity.
“I have deployed 50 maintenance men today,” countered Pawan Kumar, a contractor in charge of 17 sectors.
Meanwhile, the electricity department has floated a tender for installation of timers along the major roads.
“We hope in a fortnight as many as seven timers will be installed on roads such as Sohna Road, SPR, MG Road etc, solving this issue permanently,” said Dhankhar.
Besides, 20-30% streetlights are out-of-order, as per the Huda vigilance department.
“Along the green belt near the Huda rest-house, there are several dysfunctional lights which I highlighted to the Huda administrator,” added Ramesh.
“Replacement of faulty cables will also be done shortly,” concluded Dhankhar.