New Delhi: Water, Water everywhere
- Besides the regular waterlogging-prone areas, Wednesday saw areas under the New Delhi Municipal Council such as Connaught Place, and Chanakyapuri, where embassies are located, going under rainwater.
Roads, residential areas, schools, hospitals, markets and even the diplomatic enclave in the national capital were inundated after a spell of heavy rain on Wednesday, leading to winding traffic jams on arterial stretches, shopkeepers using buckets to flush out water from their establishments, and patients wading through waterlogged lanes to access hospitals.
Besides the regular waterlogging-prone areas, Wednesday saw areas under the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) such as Connaught Place, and Chanakyapuri, where embassies are located, going under rainwater.
Water enters Connaught Place shops
Traders in one of Delhi’s most popular shopping areas said they had not seen anything like Wednesday in a long time. Roads in the British-era arcade were heavily waterlogged, and the stormwater then overflowed on to the parking lots and then entered shops.
Traders in blocks C, G and H said rainwater entered their shops and did not clear till at least 11am. They blamed the New Delhi municipal body for poor maintenance and drainage.
Atul Bhargava, president of the New Delhi Traders Association, said, “The situation arose despite a renovation a few years ago. Water entered our shops. The parking lots, middle circle and parts of the outer circle were flooded. Traders had a hard time removing the stock put up for display for fear of getting damaged by water.”
Traders say that their complaints to fix the slope problem at Panchkuian Road-Outer circle junction have fallen on deaf ears. “As the slope is towards CP, our market gets flooded. We have been asking NDMC to fix this problem. Though they claim that the problem has been addressed, little has been done,” said Bhargava.
A senior NDMC official said that the roads were inundated, but water was pumped out in about half an hour. “Excess rain water was not allowed to stagnate for long. We have 120 permanent pumps, which were turned on, as soon as water started accumulating. The parking lots were cleared within 20 minutes of water filling in,” said the official who asked not to be named.
Several residential areas reported almost two-foot deep water on streets and basements inundated. Residents from Pamposh Enclave, Saket, Munirka, Rajendra Nagar, Karol Bagh, Laxmi Nagar, Geeta Colony, Krishna Nagar, Lajpat Nagar and Kalkaji reported waterlogging and shared videos on social media.
Gurvinder Singh Saluja, a resident of Old Rajendra Nagar, shared photos of water flowing into his basement from where he runs his office. “Sewer lines in the area have not been laid in the entire area. I had to call a plumber to get the manhole checked. It had loads of debris. We had to keep draining out water from the basement. If water keeps seeping in during every spell of rain, the foundation of the houses will weaken over the years,” said Saluja.
Kirti Bhatnagar, a resident of Yamuna Vihar in northeast Delhi said she couldn’t send her son to the school on Wednesday since the streets were full of water. “My son had to go to school today for the first time after so long but the road outside our house was completely inundated,” Bhatnagar, a homemaker said.
Mayhem on roads
Despite several interventions by the government at Minto Bridge in central Delhi, it went under water, forcing the police to cordon it off for traffic. The police also diverted traffic at Zakhira and Pul Prehladpur underpasses after they were inundated.
Besides this, the other stretches that saw heavy waterlogging were Vikas marg, Aurobindo Marg, AIIMS underpass, Dhaula Kuan, Najafgarh road, Uttam Nagar, Saket Metro station, Jahangirpuri Metro station to Mukarba Chowk and Mother Teresa Crescent Marg.
Traffic officials also tweeted about the places where traffic jams are being reported and when the waterlogging issue has been resolved. “Wherever required, the traffic was diverted onto other parallel roads. The underpasses were barricaded for safety,” said a senior police official, who didn’t wish to be named.
Several city hospitals were waterlogged that resulted in patients facing inconvenience as they had to wade through to reach the department concerned to get treatment.
At Lok Nayak Hospital, there was waterlogging at the entrance of the emergency for around half an hour on Wednesday morning making it difficult for people to find their way.
There was a similar situation at the central government-run Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital that is situated in Central Delhi, which is the heart of the national Capital.
The path outside the hospital’s outpatient department (OPD) was flooded.
The road outside the gate of Sucheta Kriplani hospital’s OPD was also flooded, although the area inside remained largely dry. “There was no flooding here but there was a lot of water flowing on the road. There is always water on this road whenever it rains,” said a guard posted at the hospital gate.