Chandigarh admn blames improper parking, food joints for waterlogging at HC last year - Hindustan Times
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Chandigarh admn blames improper parking, food joints for waterlogging at HC last year

By, Chandigarh
Jul 10, 2024 08:10 AM IST

Judicial work was affected and commuters remained stranded for hours in the area as roads leading to the HC and front portion of the court complex got waterlogged during heavy rain witnessed on November 30 morning

The UT administration, in a report submitted to Punjab and Haryana high court (HC), has blamed improper parking of vehicles and allowing the opening of food joints in the parking area of the HC for the massive waterlogging and chaos witnessed last year on November 30.

Chandigarh administration, in it report pointed out, that during a survey inside the campus, it was observed that over a period of time many temporary food stalls have come up in the parking, particularly near the road gullies. (HT File)
Chandigarh administration, in it report pointed out, that during a survey inside the campus, it was observed that over a period of time many temporary food stalls have come up in the parking, particularly near the road gullies. (HT File)

Judicial work was affected and commuters remained stranded for hours in the area as roads leading to the HC and front portion of the court complex got waterlogged during heavy rain witnessed on November 30 morning. So severe was the waterlogging that the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association had to write a letter to the chief justice stating that judges be requested not to pass adverse orders due to the non-appearance of lawyers as they were stuck in traffic jams.

“Building premises of the Punjab and Haryana high court, being a heritage site, holds utmost relevance in the states of Punjab and Haryana, including Chandigarh, and such non-action on the part of the MC concerned in maintaining proper drainage system on the high court premises is raising serious question on their effective working,” the bench of justice Sureshwar Singh Thakur and justice Sudeepti Sharma had observed while taking the suo motu note of the episode. Following the incident, the court sought reasons behind it and remedial steps taken as well as details about the disaster management plan from UT.

As per the report of Rajesh Bansal, superintending engineer, (project public health), Chandigarh, there were fallen leaves of trees and other plastic waste on the openings of the road gullies, which had blocked entry of water into road gullies. Being a working day, there was a heavy rush of vehicles and most of the road gullies of the waterlogged areas were covered under the vehicles. The staff somehow managed and immediately removed the leaves and other material, Bansal said, in his report, claiming that drains were opened within 10 minutes.

The report underlines that the intensity of rain was very high and unprecedented, especially for November. Due to all these factors, it took some time for the staff to remove the blockade, it said, adding that gullies were cleared of any blockade on five occasions before the incident, but the last cleaning was done during Monsoon in August last year.

The report points out that during a survey inside the campus, it was observed that over a period of time many temporary food stalls have come up in the parking, particularly near the road gullies. “..Such types of stalls generally dispose of their left-out food items, wrappers and oily liquid material into the road gullies resulting in blockade of road gully chambers, connecting pipes, and manholes, which further leads to water logging incidents,” it notes recommending that food stalls or other structures, which obstruct the flow of water, be removed or relocated from this area.

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