Monsoon arrives in Chandigarh, road gullies yet to be cleaned
City residents can expect waterlogged roads this year too, with early onset of monsoon catching the UT administration and municipal corporation off-guard.
The cleaning of the road gullies and seasonal rivulets flowing through the city has yet to be completed even as monsoon arrived in the city on Sunday.
MC officials claimed that nearly 85% of the cleaning work was done and UT officials assured it will be completed in a week’s time, though the tender was floated recently in June.
The civic body has around 35,000 road gullies under its purview, while the UT engineering department cleans gullies on other roads under its jurisdiction, like Madhya Marg and Dakshin Marg. It is also responsible for cleaning of seasonal rivulets - Sukhna Choe, N-Choe and Patiala Ki Rao - which is also underway.
Last monsoon, several internal sector roads and major roundabouts were flooded, resulting in traffic jams. Due to the laxity in cleaning of rivulets, some areas were also inundated. A flash flood in the Patiala Ki Rao rivulet had flooded New Colony in Khuda Lahora.
PC Rana, general secretary of the RWA, Khuda Lahora, New Colony, said, “The floor level of the rivulet has risen, and during the rainy season, it often overflows. Last year was one of the worst as several houses gave away, and internal roads were clogged with garbage and soil brought in by the flash flood.”
Fearing a repeat this year, residents had even staged a protest against the administration, demanding immediate cleaning of the rivulet. “The fate of more than 400 houses and around 1,200 families is at stake as the colony is adjacent to the rivulet,” said Rana.
In sectors also, residents contended they haven’t seen much work on the ground.
Vinod Vashisht, convener, City Forum of Residents Welfare Organisations, said, “I doubt the authorities are prepared for the monsoon this year too. There was some work being done by MC around two months back, particularly for Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge. But since then we have only seen road gullies getting clogged with garbage. Heavy rain will leave the roads inundated in no time.”
Industrial areas are among the worst-affected locations during the rainy season, with both internal and major roads witnessing water logging. “The road gully cleaning work should be taken up much before monsoon, so the city is prepared for its early onset. We request the MC and administration to complete the work in industrial area as soon as possible,” said Pankaj Khanna, president of the Industries Association, Chandigarh.
‘We are prepared’
On their part, MC and UT officials claimed that they were prepared for the monsoon.
UT chief engineer CB Ojha said, “We have set up a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the cleaning of drains and rivulets. We will complete it in a week’s time, even though we have already done it once. Similarly, we will take another week to clean the Sukhna Choe. It was already cleaned once last month, but as there is time, crucial locations are being covered again. All blocked passages of the Patiala Ki Rao have also been cleaned.”
MC executive officer Vijay Premi, who is in-charge of storm water drainage, assured, “We have completed most of the drain cleaning work. Special steps have been taken to clean up points that get choked routinely. Even in the past few weeks, when the city witnessed heavy rain, there was no water logging on the roads.”