No lessons learnt from ’23; ITO drain floods New Delhi again | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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No lessons learnt from ’23; ITO drain floods New Delhi again

Jun 29, 2024 06:21 AM IST

Last year, water entered the city after parts of the regulator at ITO’s drain number 12 broke and the Yamuna started to backflow

The deluge in areas surrounding ITO, Connaught Place and Tilak Marg, on Friday morning was a grim reminder of the historic July 2023 floods in the city which submerged large swathes of arterial stretches in key areas surrounding New Delhi, throwing normal life out of gear for nearly a week and displacing around 28,000 people.

A truck submerged in the flooded road under Minto Bridge in Connaught Place on Friday. (Arvind Yadav/HT photo)
A truck submerged in the flooded road under Minto Bridge in Connaught Place on Friday. (Arvind Yadav/HT photo)

Last year, water entered the city after parts of the regulator at ITO’s drain number 12 broke and the Yamuna started to backflow. At the time, the Yamuna’s water level touched a record high of 208.6mm on July 13.

Officials from the Public Works Department (PWD) said that most of the water from across parts of ITO goes into drain number 12, maintained by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

ALSO READ| Highest rainfall recorded on a June day in Delhi in 88 years

“Our team visited the drain on Thursday and found that work seemed to have just started, and most of the desilting and cleaning was still not done. MCD had earlier claimed that desilting was complete. We have written to the MCD to get the work done at the earliest. Due to the silt deposited in the drain, there is a high probability of backflow of water into the PWD drain which may cause waterlogging in the Supreme Court campus and Mathura Road,” said a PWD official.

Areas along the Yamuna floodplains were inundated last June following incessant rainfall that pushed the river’s water past the danger levels and resulted in flooding in parts of eastern and central Delhi. The crisis aggravated as the gate at the ITO regulator on drain number 12 broke due to sudden and high water pressure.

HT reached out to the MCD, which did not respond to queries.

The regulator on drain number 12 that broke last year causing flooding in the area was replaced in the nick of time last month by the irrigation department.

After the regulator broke last year and flooded the entire area, the political leadership sprung to action. For nearly two days, the LG, CM and Delhi ministers had camped at the site along with all top officials to get the regulator repaired. The Indian Army and the NDRF were also roped in to expedite the efforts. The issue had also spiralled into a political blame game between the government and the LG.

The water pumped from all arterial stretches around ITO is dumped in Drain number 12 which remained full of silt and sludge till Friday morning.

Thousands of motorists travelling between central, north, south and east Delhi had a harrowing experience as they looked for alternate routes and were ultimately stuck in massive traffic jams.

The Delhi Police closed the Bahadurshah Zafar Marg-Tilak Marg stretch using barricades soon after rainwater started to flood the Tilak Marg underpass. The route is used by those travelling between south, central and north Delhi via India Gate, Mandi House, and Daryaganj. The traffic situation worsened when the agencies closed the Minto Road underpass, the alternate route that people use to travel between central and north Delhi via Kamla Market. The only alternative route for them was via Paharganj from the Kamla market railway overbridge.

“My office is just 12km from my home and it usually takes 25 minutes to get there. But this morning I was stuck for nearly two hours at ITO,” said Chandan Sahay, one of the commuters stuck at ITO on Friday morning.

Similarly, those travelling to north and central Delhi from east Delhi faced traffic woes as the two key routes – Vikas Marg and the Ring Road from Delhi-Meerut Expressway and NH-24 – were waterlogged, under the IP flyover near Vikas Minar.

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