Monsoon a month away, only 10% road gullies cleaned in Chandigarh
Even as monsoon is stated to arrive on time from June 30, the Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) has managed to clean only 10% of the 30,000 road gullies in the city so far.
Confirming the same, MC executive officer Vijay Premi, who is in-charge of storm water drainage, said, “From June 1, we will work at a much faster speed since double the present 73 workers will be on the job,” he said, adding that they hope to complete the task before June 30.
MC chief engineer Shailender Singh said. “The work had only started after the fourth phase of the lockdown. But we will definitely clean all road gullies before monsoon starts here.”
Meanwhile, city residents are not happy with the ongoing road gully cleaning work.
Claiming that MC workers weren’t cleaning the gullies from the inside, president of the Sector 8 residents’ welfare association (RWA) Ranvinder Singh Gill said, “The road gullies are cleaned only from the top without opening them. I had asked the workers to open up the gullies near my house but they refused.”
Noting that the problem had only gotten this bad in recent years, chairman of the Sector 35 RWA, JS Gogia said, “Ever since we have started paying more taxes, the situation is getting worse. The V6 roads in Sector 35D are the worst hit, and road gullies remain blocked as well.”
President of the Sector 44B RWA, Swadesh Talwar, added that road gullies were already blocked and leading to flooding even during the rain in May. “The situation will only get worse during the monsoon showers in June. I request MC to speed it up and clean the gullies properly from inside which generally is not done,” he said.
Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC) chairman and president of the Sector 21 RWA, Baljinder Singh Bittu, said, “Maintenance of road gullies is an annual exercise and the Covid epidemic can be no excuse for delaying it. Every year, the authorities swing into action only after the first spell of rains and pre-monsoon takes place.”
MC chief engineer Shailender Singh, however, denied these claims, “Even malba being taken out of the road gullies is being immediately lifted. If anyone thinks that cleaning was not done properly in their area, we will get it cleaned again.”
Meanwhile, members of Chandigarh Resident Association Welfare Federation (CRAWFED) also received many complaints regarding the issue and chairman Hitesh Puri said they will apprise the MC authorities about them.
MC ASKS UT TO CLEAN CHOES
The MC has taken up matter with the UT engineering department seeking cleaning of city’s seasonal drainage rivulets — N-choe, Sukhna choe and Patiala Ki Rao.
An official said it was imperative to de-silt and de-weed the rivulets, especially N-choe and Sukhna choe, since all road gullies discharge rain water into these choes. “If the choes are not cleaned properly, their water-carrying capacity gets affected significantly during the monsoon, leading to waterlogging in the areas.”
Earlier during the monsoon two years ago, the floodgates of Sukhna Lake had to be opened as the water level had increased beyond the permissible limit due to incessant rain.