Ghaziabad: DME stretches flood as children block water outlets, says NHAI
For the first time in the ongoing monsoon season, some stretches of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway (Delhi-Ghaziabad side) witnessed waterlogging after rains lashed the city on Saturday morning. Officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said that their teams during an inspection spotted some children who blocked the water outlets on the expressway in order to play in the “pool”.
The waterlogging was witnessed at several locations, including Indirapuram, Siddharth Vihar and Vijay Nagar. An HT team during a visit to these locations also found waterlogged stretches on the elevated portion of the DME.
However, the officials said that the stretches were cleared off water by the afternoon for the smooth movement of traffic.
The NHAI officials also said that they have clicked photographs of children who were plugging the water outlets.
“Some children from nearby localities plugged the water outlets on the expressway with bricks and gunny bags. This stopped the outflow of water on the Delhi-Ghaziabad carriageway. The children did this to play in the stagnant water. We could not do much when our teams spotted them plugging water outlets,” said Mudit Garg, project director, NHAI.
According to the officials, the expressway has a water outlet at an average distance of about five metres. “These are regularly cleaned as part of maintenance. Our teams are also working to create more outlets wherever required,” Garg said.
According to the India Meteorological Department, Ghaziabad on Saturday received 7.4mm of rainfall. Since June 1, the district received 233.8mm of rainfall as against normal 459.5mm, a deficit of about 55%.
Meanwhile, the NHAI officials said they have no option but to report the matter to the local police and the photographs will also be shared with them.
“We have decided to write about the issue to police and seek their intervention. Similar issues were also found near the UP Gate where farmers are holding protests. There was heavy waterlogging on the Ghaziabad-Delhi carriageway on Friday night, but our teams cleared the stretch. They had found the outlets blocked,” Garg added.
The officials of the Ghaziabad district said that the waterlogging issue on the expressway could lead to damage of newly laid roads. “After the issue came to our notice, the NHAI officials were informed about the same, and their teams were working to get the areas cleared. If they face any problems, we will get them resolved,” said RK Singh, district magistrate.
At the UP Gate, the Ghaziabad-Delhi side is occupied by farmers since December last year.
“There should be no obstruction to the water outlets as any waterlogging will pose issues for us. We will get it checked if the outlets were plugged by farmers,” said Jagtar Singh Bajwa, UP Gate site spokesperson of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha.
The farmers have been camping at the UP Gate protest site to press for their demands for rollback of the Centre’s three new farm laws and a new law on minimum support price.