Monsoon arrives in Chandigarh tricity, so does misery
72.9 mm showers on the very first day of monsoon expose civic bodies’ tall claims of preparedness, as just two hours of rain in the morning left roads inundated during peak office hours
72.9 mm showers on the very first day of monsoon expose civic body’s tall claims of preparedness, as just two hours of rain in the morning left roads inundated during peak office hours
Four days late, monsoon finally arrived in Chandigarh on Thursday, ending residents’ long wait for rains after a record-breaking summer.
The very first day of the rainy season brought along a whopping 72.9 mm rain, making Thursday the wettest June day since 2013, when 92.4 mm rain was recorded on June 14.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) declared the onset of monsoon in the afternoon itself after an intense spell of 68.2 mm rain lashed the city in the morning, quickly inundating major roads and exposing civic authorities’ ill-preparedness.
IMD Chandigarh director Manmohan Singh said, “The monsoon was expected to arrive with a good amount of rain. The system was quite strong, which is why we got record-breaking rain. It will continue to remain strong on Friday, so there are chances of heavy rain again and thereon, light rain can be expected.”
Monsoon’s arrival is declared when the monsoon system enters the region and it rains continuously for two days as a whole. The prevailing wind systems in the region are also important for this and it is usually accompanied by moderate to intense rains.
Apart from Chandigarh, monsoon was also declared in parts of Punjab and Haryana on Thursday.
This year in June, Chandigarh recorded 122.8 mm rain, but it’s still lower than the normal of 155.5 mm and lowest since 2019, when 26.5 mm rain was recorded in the entire month.
Coolest June day since 2013
The rain caused the maximum temperature to drop from 30.1°C on Wednesday to 26.9°C on Thursday, which was lowest in June since 24.2°C on June 16, 2013.
According to Singh, this was due to the rain and cloudy weather that continued throughout the day, coupled with cool easterly winds.
While the maximum temperature plunged to nine degrees below normal, the minimum temperature was still two degrees above normal despite dipping from 28°C to 26.4°C.
Over the next three days, the maximum temperature will remain between 30°C and 33°C, while the minimum temperature will hover around 26°C.
Office-goers suffer in rush hour
Classified as heavy (64.5 mm to 115.5 mm) by IMD, the 72.9 mm rain on Thursday during peak morning rush brought the traffic to a standstill due to waterlogged roads.
While residents woke up to an overcast sky, followed by 3 mm rain till 8.30 am, they were met with 68.2 mm heavy rain as they started heading out for the day.
Major roads in the city, including near the Sector 20/30/32/33 roundabout, the JW Mariott Chowk (Sectors 21/22/34/35) and PGIMER, were among the worst affected, breaking down vehicles and leading to traffic snarls.
In Sector 34, knee-deep water was witnessed on the roads leading to the commercial parts, while the low-lying railway-under bridge at Industrial Area, Phase 1, also got inundated.
Traffic police issued an advisory after traffic jams were reported near the Sector-17 ISBT Chowk, which could not be cleared till afternoon.
Many Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) reported waterlogging, highlighting how the authorities had yet again failed to prepare for monsoon in advance.
Chairman of Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC) Baljinder Singh Bittu added, “Rainwater even entered some houses in Sector 21. Cleaning of road gullies must be finished before the monsoon, yet the municipal corporation (MC) failed yet again. There must be some transparency on what MC does with the public money that it is supposed to be spent on cleaning road gullies.”
Waterlogging also affected the cremation ground in Sector 25, where last rites had to be stalled for several hours.
3-feet water belies MC's claims in Mohali
In Mohali, Phases 3B1, 4, 5 and 11, Sectors 76 and 77, were the worst-affected.
Not just residential areas, even the Zirakpur-Ambala highway witnessed waterlogging, causing long-distance travellers to move at a snail’s pace.
Though the Mohali municipal corporation had claimed to have started cleaning road gullies well before the monsoon, their claims fell flat as residents struggled to manoeuvre through 3-feet water on various roads.
Due to poor drainage system, rainwater even entered houses and shops in some parts of the district.
In many areas, the administration was seen taking the help of fire brigades to drain water from the road.
Fuming Panchkula residents turn to social media
Pictures and videos of waterlogged roads, and vehicles stranded in rainwater in Panchkula circulated on social media throughout the day.
Residents complained that despite the approaching monsoon, MC failed to clean road gullies in several areas, including Sector 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 16 and 20.
Waterlogging harassed commuters at several points, including the newly constructed railway-under bridge in Sector 19, where MC had to deploy motor pumps to remove rainwater.
Residents of Budhanpur village complained of multiple potholes on village roads that had even made walking in the rain impossible, let alone driving.