Readers’ take: Chandigarh not geared up for monsoon this year
Prioritise projects in case of tight deadlines
Waterlogging during the monsoon is a real problem, and one expects more problems this year due to the lockdown because of Covid-19 and the resultant labour shortage which led to slow development work such as recarpeting of roads or cleaning of the drainage system. However, it is still not too late and pending work can be prioritised and completed quickly if the authorities have the will. The administration can also arrange for night shelters for the homeless, especially near hospitals, for people to stay away from the rain, and provide free food and clothing to the poor as people get less work during the monsoon. Use of plastic should be curbed and all waste thrown in dustbins to prevent blockage of drains.
Avinash Goyal, Chandigarh
Infrastructure should be well maintained
Every year the story is the same. Road gullies are not cleaned before the onset of monsoon. Tenders are floated every year and public money is spent on this account, but nothing changes. Many areas remain waterlogged and roads get potholes. Chandigarh MC has been regularly coming up with excuses that the requisite funds have not been received and work hasn’t continued because of the Covid-19 lockdown. One wonders why all the works are not carried out regularly and left for the last minute? In my opinion the system is corrupt and no one is interested in completing the work on time. Instead of getting such work every year on tender, why is equipment and trained staff not available with the MC to execute the job and to check the damages and maintenance thereof at regular intervals?
Sham Sunder Sharma, Chandigarh.
Residents have a role to play too
Majority of the city’s drains and alleys still require cleaning, for which MC teams are toiling hard. Also, being educated citizens, it’s our duty to dispose of garbage in designated bins and ensure these are not dumped elsewhere to block and choke drains. Keeping in mind the oncoming monsoon season, MC officials must ponder over the old saying: “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.”
Avik Seth, Zirakpur
Deal with trouble spots on priority
Doubtlessly, MC would not have been able to ensure the timely execution of pre-monsoon projects such as maintenance of roads and drains due to the long lockdown and absence of labour. But at this juncture it would not be advisable to carry out work related to recarpeting of roads when the monsoon is just around the corner. Therefore, at the moment, corporation staff should check areas prone to waterlogging and clear them quickly. The sewerage system should also be cleaned up.
Surinder Paul Wadhwa, Mohali.
Futile to expect any changes
It’s a fact that the MC has never in the past, nor at present, been capable of finishing any project on time. Every year our roads become nullahs. A number of suggestions will be made in the debate, but what happens after that? Nothing will happen, no suggestion will be taken up by the authorities for action and things will keep moving as they are doing now. We are being governed by a system in which no one is answerable to anyone unless you file an RTI. But how many RTIs can one file to live a life that one really deserves?
Gurpreet S Malhotra, Kansal village
Solutions nowhere in sight
Monsoon preparedness has been hampered by successive lockdowns so road repair and drainage cleaning work has slowed down. Safai karamchars were busy with sanitisation work, spraying chemicals manually in affected areas. Let’s hope the staff concerned will now catch up with the pending work to clear gully traps and choked underground drainage pipes. Garage lanes in category 1 and 2 of Manimajra Housing Complex, which have an initial design defect, get flooded every year. Despite regular appeals by the resident welfare association to the MC, and assurances by the successive chief engineers, a permanent solution is nowhere in sight.
SC Luthra, Chandigarh
No time for delays
The MC should ensure that road gullies are cleaned without delay. Waste material and garbage too should be removed from near the rain water gutters and by the roads. Recarpeting , repair and patchwork on all the roads should be done immediately. All obstructions should be removed from pavements with ease of movement for pedestrians. Streetlights should also be repaired or replaced. Drainage systems near all roundabouts should be cleaned and waste removed from public dustbins. Areas around public places, including the main markets (especially the grain market), should be cleaned regularly.
Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, Mohali
Don’t expect miracles
With revenues drying up and administration and Central government slashing budgets for the coming months, MC officials have no way out and cannot carry out any project in the current financial year. Even when the MC had enough money in hand, there was no relief for its residents from monsoon woes and to expect the same in the epidemic year is asking for a miracle. Any project this year will be written off and people will face the same problems this time too.
Suresh Verma, Chandigarh
Some areas need work
Some areas in the city need work. The MC has to ensure that all damaged roads are repaired and drains are cleaned with no water stagnation anywhere to prevent mosquito breeding.
Divanshi Bansal, Chandigarh
Prevention of water-borne diseases important
The tricity is definitely not ready to face the monsoon. Open drains, uncovered manholes, dug up roads and road gullies full of mud and choked with polythene bags and dry leaves have made residents’ lives hell. The monsoon showers as usual will bring the city to a grinding halt with most of the roundabouts, parking lots and streets flooded with rain water. Swift action needs to be taken to clean road gullies to avoid waterlogging. Infections and rainy season go hand in hand. The issue of water-borne diseases is more about prevention than care. The summer is already here, so first of all clean water should be made available to the residents.
Dr Shruti K Chawla
Prune trees, repair damaged drains immediately
Damaged and leaking drains should be repaired. Potholes should be filled up before the monsoon season as driving gets to be a nightmare and risks of accidents increase. Tiles around the trees should be removed because they weaken the grip of the tree’s roots and often lead to the uprooting of trees during a storm. The trees should be pruned because falling branches too cause injuries to pedestrians. To prevent water-borne diseases defogging drives should be conducted and stagnant water should be cleared. Awareness should be created among the people about not allowing water to stagnate and taking other such measures.
Saikrit Gulati, Chandigarh
Effective planning need of the hours
Recarpeting of roads has been deferred till the end of the monsoons. The authorities woke from their slumber only when waterlogging was reported in various parts of the city after a recent deluge. Road gullies, manholes and sewage lines need to be cleaned well before the monsoons, but it took the recent flooding to wake the authorities concerned from their slumber. Effective planning is the need of the hour to face the monsoons.
SK Khosla, Chandigarh
Cover the drains
Hope something is done to cover the drains. Fines should be imposed on people who are careless with garbage disposal.
Yasmin D Khosla, Panchkula
Check power lines
According to data, around 30 people die in India due to electrocution in a single day, but in the rainy season, the risk of electrical shocks are doubled, so power lines and junctions should be checked on priority before the rains.
Priyam Aggarwal, Chandigarh
Engineers, MC officials should be held accountable got lapses
Top engineers of Chandigarh administration and of the MC should be answerable for the fact that problems such as waterlogging and choking of drains keep recurring in a modern, well planned city with no concrete action plan made in decades. The storm water drainage system has virtually collapsed as it is unable to contain rainwater. Flooding and caving in of roads, potholes and erosion of road surface are common in the monsoon. These are death traps for commuters and also result in traffic snarls and accidents. Things can improve if the authorities sincerely want to make this city world class and put in real efforts to upgrade its design.
Sateesh Dadwal, Chandigarh