Commuters in Gurgaon are likely to encounter problems caused by waterlogging at Hero Honda Chowk this year too. Despite instructions from the Haryana chief minister and notwithstanding efforts of civic agencies, flooding during the monsoon remains unresolved.
Though civic officials have discussed a number of plans to resolve waterlogging in Gurgaon, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) on Thursday admitted that no permanent solution was arrived at.
“We are taking several short term measures to reduce waterlogging in the city, including at Hero Honda Chowk, but a final solution will take one more year,” Huda administrator Hardeep Singh said.
After last year’s monsoon chaos, CM Manohar Lal Khattar in January had directed the civic agencies that the issue of waterlogging be addressed on priority. In order to resolve the issue, the Huda had planned to widen the Badshahpur and Khandsa drains but land acquisition proved a major obstacle.
On their part, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) had planned to retrofit this crucial intersection with a flyover and build a longitudinal drain, but with these plans having a long term horizon, there is no easy way out except to face the trouble, a senior official said.
Waterlogging at Hero Honda Chowk has its roots in the lack of proper storm water drainage in Gurgaon. As a result, water from the Aravallis, residential areas along Golf Course Road and Golf Course Extension Road, Ghata village and Badshahpur flows downstream and collects at Hero Honda Chowk.
While 2200 cusecs of water reaches the Hero Honda Chowk, the Khandsa drain has a capacity of taking only 1100 cusecs to the Najafgarh drain, as a result of which the main crossing, service roads and Huda sectors such as 10A, 9 and 34 are waterlogged during the monsoon.
Suman Chawla, secretary of Manesar Industries Welfare Association (MIWA), says though the entire expressway and Kherki Daula toll are major problems, the highway becomes unmanageable during the monsoon. While the industry is worried about traffic jams because of waterlogging, local residents say their vehicles are rendered useless as water enters the engines.
“Last year, my car was substantially damaged as water entered the engine and the sensors were damaged in almost all electronic parts,” Rajesh Yadav of Badshahpur, said.
Prof Sewa Ram from School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, says that the Huda and the MCG have not been able to develop an extensive stormwater drainage plan for the city, resulting in waterlogging at Hero Honda Chowk. “It is this excess water that blocks the services lanes, and after mixing with sewage, it damages the roads,” he said.
Civic agencies in Gurgaon never planned a longitudinal drain along this highway. The drains between Rajiv Chowk and Kherki Daula toll plaza also remain choked with plastic and silt as a result of which the drainage system fails when it is required the most.
CEO of expressway concessionaire MCEPL S Raghuraman, however, said the main reason for waterlogging on the expressway was that six culverts and two minor bridges along with drains on the expressway were choked by garbage. “We have water pumps for draining water from this area but unless encroachments are not removed and drains not cleared, the situation is not going to improve,” he said.