Gurugram’s underpasses flooded, traffic movement disrupted
Four underpasses in the city, one each at Hero Honda Chowk and Iffco Chowk and two at Rajiv Chowk, were shut to traffic due to severe water logging following heavy rain on Monday that left the traffic flow across the city in a complete disarray. The underpasses at Iffco Chowk, Hero Honda Chowk and the bidirectional one at Rajiv Chowk were opened by evening, according to the district administration.
Ravinder Singh Tomar, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), said over 1,100 traffic police officials were deployed across the city from 5am. According to the police, a total of 4,500 personnel were deployed on city roads. A release issued by the district administration on Monday stated that 13 earthmovers were dispatched to various locations to deal with snarls.
Despite the arrangements, the severity of water logging was such that traffic movement was disrupted on arterial roads due to the limited space available for vehicles on main carriageways, what with rainwater occupying most of the road space and pedestrians weaving between vehicles in an effort to stay clear of the waist-deep water on service roads.
Throughout the day, Gurugram traffic police issued alerts social media, cautioning commuters to avoid severely waterlogged stretches in Suncity Township, Iffco Chowk, Naharpur, Hero Honda Chowk, Medanta underpass, Signature Towers, Iffco Chowk underpass, Galleria Market road, Kanhai Chowk, Wazirabad Chowk, Huda City Centre, Sector 4/7/9 Chowk, Himgiri Chowk, areas near the Mini Secretariat, Basai Road, Sheetla Mata Road, Bilaspur Chowk, Subhash Chowk, Narsinghpur and MDI Chowk.
The worst-affected traffic stretches were Sohna Road, Sheetla Mata Road, Basai Road, CH Bakhtawar Singh Road, Hero Honda Chowk, and Rajiv Chowk, where rainwater accumulation led to snarls, confusion and vehicle breakdowns.
At the Iffco Chowk and the Rajiv Chowk underpasses, traffic police officials barricaded the entry points around 9am, while at the Hero Honda Chowk underpass, they stacked sandbags to prevent commuters from entering the underpass as all four structures were heavily inundated.
Using motor pumps and suctions tankers, rainwater was cleared from the bidirectional underpass at Rajiv Chowk, Iffco Chowk and Hero Honda Chowk by evening and opened to traffic, said a release from the district administration.
Officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said the unidirectional underpass at Rajiv Chowk has higher rainwater accumulation than the other three and they are expecting to reopen the road around midnight.
“Except for the Medanta underpass, all three underpasses have been opened. Dewatering operations at the Medanta underpass are ongoing and we are expecting to open it around midnight. All motor pumps at the four underpasses were operational. However, the intensity of the rain was higher than its outlet capacity, due to which there was heavy rainwater accumulation,” said Nirman Jambulkar, project director, NHAI.
With the Medanta underpass closed, and the CH Bakhtawar Singh Road and Rajiv Chowk flooded, vehicles could be seen travelling in all directions on each of the two carriageways of the CH Bakhtawar Singh Road and highway.
On Sohna Road, most of the road space remained unusable due to the ongoing elevated corridor project. There was waist-deep rainwater on the stretch at places that not only rendered the city’s second most congested stretch unusable.
As a result, traffic flow on the entire Sohna Road, from Vatika Chowk to Rajiv Chowk, was affected, which subsequently led to congestion on the stretches leading towards Bakhtawar Chowk.
“From my balcony, I could see the entire Sohna Road under water, several broken down vehicles being pushed by drivers towards higher ground and traffic moving at a snail’s pace. Rainwater from Sohna Road also flooded my society roads and the service lanes outside. Due to a family emergency, I left my house and it took me nearly 45 minutes to reach the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway,” said Saurabh Kumar, a resident of Sector 47.
Tomar said by 3pm, traffic flow started normalising on most roads.
“By 3pm, traffic started returning to normalcy, barring three major stretches. On Sohna Road and Basai Road, there was heavy police deployment that ensured traffic congestion was not severe for more than two hours. However, on Sheetla Mata Road, the water logging was far too severe, due to which traffic movement was affected till late evening,” said Tomar, adding that the traffic police have written to the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) regarding severe waterlogging on Sheetla Mata Road, requesting for more motor pumps.