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HindustanTimes Mon,01 Sep 2014

Season's first rain puts 'royal city' in a mess

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Patiala, June 13, 2013
First Published: 22:41 IST(13/6/2013) | Last Updated: 22:41 IST(13/6/2013)

Inundated roads and choked drainage system continue to haunt city people every year and the first pre-monsoon showers on Thursday morning threw uncanny scenes on the roads of the 'Royal City'.

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Heavy rain, which continued for several hours, not only exposed the ill-preparedness of the municipal corporation but also brought to light the inability of the MC authorities to deal with waterlogging problem in the walled city.

Waterlogged streets completely paralysed the normal life as people were witnessed facing a lot of inconvenience in order to move out of houses. The markets areas, especially located in the walled city, wore a deserted look as almost all shopkeepers and traders opted to shut down their shops due to waterlogging.

Even the VIP areas faced the problem of inundated roads. The road in front of deputy commissioner GK Singh's residence at Leela Bhavan remained flooded and turned an eyesore due to long traffic jams. The boundary wall at the DC's house collapsed due to heavy rainfall.

A random survey of the city revealed that the problem was more severe in the low-lying areas after water entered houses of locals.

The obdurate civic administration preferred to point fingers than to take action and address the problem of waterlogging.

Mayor Amarinder Bajaj put all the blame on former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, blaming him for misery of people during rains.

“The problem of waterlogging is due to covering of storm water channel during the regime of Capt Amarinder. As nullah was covered, it resulted into choking and it has become very difficult to clean it on regular basis,” Bajaj said.

Expressing his inability to do something needful for residents, Bajaj said, “The problem of waterlogging cannot be resolved in a day. Concrete measures are needed, which will take some time. We have managed to drain out water in the wee hours.” 

Pertinently, it has been over six year since the end of Captain Amarinder Singh's regime, yet till date the MC has not come up with any concrete solution.

In the city, life came to a standstill as water inundated houses, damaging property.

Kamaljeet Kaur, a resident of Model Town, said the irony of the situation is that the sanitation staff after sweeping the streets shoved the muck into the drains, which choked the drainage system during the rain.

“If first rain, that too pre-monsoon showers, could paralyse life in the city, what would be condition during the monsoon season? The authorities should come up with some temporary solution to the problem in order to bring some relief to residents during the rainy season,” she added.

Balwinder Kumar, a resident of Book Market, said, “With water collecting up to the knee level, it's next to impossible to step out of the house. Customers cannot come to shops as the entire street along with market had been flooded.”

The areas prone to waterlogging in the city are the Sabzi Mandi area, Book Market, Mohindera Colony, Arna-Barna Chowk, Anardana Chowk, Raghomajra Dhakka Colony, Dhillon Colony, Khalsa Mohalla, Samania Gate, old Scrap Market, Mathura Colony, Sanauri Adda, Tripuri, Anand Nagar, DMW road, SST Nagar, Guru Nanak Nagar, B-Tank road, Jhujhar Nagar, TB Hospital, bus stand and railway station.

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