Even as the meteorological department has forecast the arrival of monsoon in the north during the last week of June, the preparedness of Amritsar municipal corporation (MC) to tackle waterlogging during rains seems insufficient.
During the rainfall in last few days, roads and streets at various localities of the city were inundated with water. Though the MC employees tried to remove waterlogging both manually and with machines, it took a lot of time to fix the problem.
The presence of potholes on roads and absence of drainage points on the stretches are major areas water trapping. Sewerage remains choked in many parts of the city. Such a situation is certain to create a problem of waterlogging in the upcoming rainy season. On Thursday, chief parliamentary secretary Navjot Kaur Sidhu conducted a meeting with officials concerned to resolve the issue.
During a general house meeting on June 17, the municipal corporation passed a resolution of allocating `12.10 crore for the sanitation and de-silting sewerage and drains project, so that the drains could incorporate the rainy water.
As per this resolution, desilting of sewerage and drains is proposed to be carried out manually and with super-sucker machines in all five assemblies segments. In the first phase, `5 crore has been proposed to be spent. But there is no information about when the work would start as the date of tendering `5 crore has not been finalised.
Moreover, the tendering can be conducted only after the state government gives its nod to the proposal and the MC is yet to send proceedings of the house meeting. So, the proposal looks almost impossible to be incorporated in the upcoming rainy season.
While talking to HT, Anurag Mahajan, head of operation and maintenance department said that the process would start only after government’s nod. “Still, we will make all other arrangements to tackle waterlogging in the next week as MC commissioner Sonali Giri is on leave and will resume duty next week,” he said.
He added that the body has deployed employees under subdivisional officers (SDOs) and established a control room at Ram Bagh garden to control the situation of waterlogging. He said that they are capable of tackling the situation and are equipped with jet machines and tractors.
In addition, `1 lakh has also been proposed to give to every ward of the city for manual sanitation work of gutters, but the work under this project too has also not started yet.
When contacted, mayor Bakhshi Ram Arora claimed that the corporation is ready to face the situation with the help of machines. “As far as the newly-constructed roads are concerned, we have done our best to prevent the problem. Yet, this rainy season will point out the shortcoming in the new constructions,” he said.