Rain wreaks havoc on Delhi for a 3rd straight day
The rain blunted Delhi’s usual Saturday fervour. Although a huge turnout of visitors was expected at the newly revamped Central Vista Avenue — a 40,000=-strong crowd gathered there last Saturday — no more than 500 were present on the India Gate lawns and Kartavya Path during the evening
Rain for the third consecutive day on Saturday made the already worse traffic situation in Delhi more distressing, especially after the downpour picked up in the afternoon and resulted in waterlogged stretches, uprooted trees, broken down vehicles. and caved in roads across the national capital.
Hundreds of traffic personnel remained busy clearing jams and removing all sorts of hurdles that were reported to them by the public or their control room. Since most private and government offices were closed for the weekend, traffic jams were not as worse as it was on Friday and Thursday, the traffic police said.
Although a huge turnout of visitors was expected at the newly revamped Central Vista Avenue -- a 40,000 strong crowd had gathered there last Saturday -- not more than 500 people were present on the India Gate lawns and Kartavya Path during the evening hours.
“I was planning to visit CP on Saturday evening. But the water-logging in my neighbourhood and the traffic situation made me cancel the plan,” said Alam, who lives in East Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar.
The Safdarjung observatory, Delhi’s base weather station, recorded 15.4mm of rainfall in the 24 hours ending 8.30am Saturday. The station in Palam received 40mm of rain during the same period. During the day, 10mm of rain was recorded between 8.30am and 5.30pm at Safdarjung, while Palam received 21.9mm rain.
The weather department said the rain will continue on Sunday as well.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) scientist RK Jenamani said the continuous rain is on account of an interaction between remnants of a low-pressure area and a western disturbance.
According to IMD, the cyclonic circulation lies over northeast Rajasthan and is likely to persist till Sunday.
“From September 26, rain over Delhi, Haryana and south-west Uttar Pradesh is likely to abate gradually,” said Jenamani. He added that once the rain abates from the plains, they will have a clarity on the withdrawal of monsoon.
The maximum temperature in the city on Saturday was at 27.2 degrees Celsius (°C), seven degrees below the normal for this time of the year, while the minimum was 22.6°C, one degree below the normal.
According to Delhi Traffic Police, their control room received calls of waterlogging till 6pm Saturday and the affected areas included Aurobindo Marg near Adhchini, Chanakyapuri, and Phirni Road near Najafgarh. The traffic police social media handle also flagged waterlogging at Rajdhani Park Metro Station on Delhi Rohtak Road.
Senior traffic police officers said the traffic movement in the morning hours was smooth in most of the arterial roads across the city.
“I drove with my brother from our home in Geeta Colony to a college in Janakpuri. We were told to arrive there by 11am. Anticipating the traffic mess, we left home early around 8.30am. It took us an hour and 10 minutes to reach the college. The volume of vehicles was less, maybe because it was a Saturday and also the rain,” said Sachin Arora, who deals in mattresses and furniture.
By evening though, most roads were congested. The affected stretches in south Delhi were Aurobindo Marg between IIT flyover and Qutab Golf Course, Outer Ring Road near Panchsheel Park, Shivalik Road near Malviya Nagar, near Siri Fort, NH-44 between Sarai Kale Khan and Lajpat Nagar, Barapullah flyover, Delhi Noida Direct (DND) flyway and Mathura Road near Zoo, among others.
“The jams in the evening were mostly because vehicles were moving slowly on account of the rain and poor visibility. Also, two-wheeler riders took shelter from the rain under flyovers and in underpasses, further holding up traffic,” said a traffic circle inspector in south Delhi.
Incessant rains over the last three days have left the several arterial roads battered and pothole-riddled, making commuting a nightmare for motorists.
All the arterial roads with width of more than 60 feet and having central verges, fall under the public works department. A senior PWD official said the repair work will start once the rain stops and directions in this regard have been issued to all divisions. “We have asked the maintenance wing to carry out a survey of all stretches in need of repair so that patchwork can start soon,” said the official, asking not to be named.
The good news from the rain was that the city’s air quality improved on Saturday and continued to remain in the “satisfactory” category with an air quality index (AQI) scale with a reading of 54.
According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (Safar), air quality is expected to stay in the “good” category till Tuesday.