Delhi drains to be redesigned for lasting relief from waterlogging: Kejriwal
The design of city drains will be changed according to the suggestions by an expert team from IIT-Delhi to ensure smooth flow of water during and after heavy rains and resolve the annual problem of waterlogging on roads during monsoons, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday after chairing a review meeting on Delhi Drainage Masterplan.
“Today CM Arvind Kejriwal chaired a review meeting on Delhi’s drainage masterplan. Design changes will be introduced in drains in accordance with recommendations of IIT. The focus will be to enable smooth flow of water during and after heavy rains. Waterlogging issues be resolved,” said a tweet from the CM’s office after the review meeting.
According to the tweet by the CMO, Delhi, the review meeting was also attended by water minister Satyandar Jain, vice-chairperson of Delhi Jal Board Raghav Chadha and chief secretary Vijay Dev.
The meeting came at a time when the national capital was once again brought to its knees after six hours of rainfall on Saturday, throwing traffic into disarray and inundating several key stretches and underpasses. The heavy flooding exposed how badly city needs a comprehensive drainage plan, as well a meticulous road map to ensure that local drains are cleaned properly ahead of monsoon that are managed by a multitude of agencies.
On July 19, Kejriwal announced that the Delhi administration will redesign the city’s drainage system and identify more waterlogging hot spots so that area-specific interventions can be made to ensure smooth flow of traffic and people’s safety. The announcement by the chief minister came on a day when a man drowned in the submerged Pul Prahladpur underpass -- one of the perennial problem points -- and at least 39 key road stretches were flooded after heavy rain.
The last drainage master plan was drafted by the Delhi administration in 1976. To be sure, Delhi was administered by a metropolitan council between 1966 and 1990. In 2016, the Delhi government commissioned a study of the city’s drainage system by IIT-Delhi. Following the study, a drainage master plan was compiled which had also pointed out to the fact that the city had no single agency to manage and maintain drainage. However, the plan could not be implemented.
A senior government official abreast of the developments, said, “There are about 2,846 drains in Delhi with a total length of 3,692 km. Majority of these drains are managed by the Public Works Department (PWD). Delhi is divided into three major natural drainage basins -- Trans Yamuna, Barapullah and Najafgarh. In addition, there are also several small drainage basins connected directly to the Yamuna.”
According to a statement by the CM office, the government will rope in consultants to identify and plug the problems in the drainage system. To bolster the drainage system, specific projects will be taken up to implement solutions for fixing slopes of drains, connecting storm drains to the larger drainage system, etc.
The statement said that a technical expert committee has been working to decide design parameters and technical inputs like rainfall intensity, return period, run-off coefficient and retention period for the drainage master plan. The experts from IIT-Delhi have been roped in to analyse the drainage systems and suggest solutions.
The two panel of experts have given 10 recommendations to the government. These range from removing encroachments on storm water drains to curb drumping of waste and sewage in stormwater drains, preventing construction on drains, rejuvenation of water bodies and designing drains from a broader perspective of the area covered by them, instead of just fixing the local concerns. The panel has also recommended improving flood monitoring and management.