PWD finds waterlogging fix for 7 seasonal trouble spots in Delhi
Barely two weeks after a man drowned at the waterlogged Pul Prahladpur underpass, Public Works Department (PWD) officials said they are looking for permanent solutions to ensure no such incident is repeated. Since the man drowned while allegedly trying to take a selfie, the department has also decided to station a boat, a diver and life jackets at such vulnerable spots in the city.
These are some of the solutions that the department is going to implement short and long-term measures at seven of the city’s perennial waterlogging spots. PWD, which manages most of the arterial roads in the city, has identified seven most vulnerable points where waterlogging has been a chronic problem. They are Minto Bridge, Pul Prahladpur underpass, under Zakhira flyover, Loni Road roundabout, Jahangirpuri Metro station, Karala-Kanjhawala road and IP Estate (Ring Road, opposite WHO building).
The PWD officials said waterlogging has been a problem particularly this year because the city has been witnessing record rains, coming in short but heavy bursts. “Delhi witnessed unprecedented showers this year with the cumulative 506mm rainfall in July,” said a senior official.
Elaborating on how the measures were being implemented, the officials cited the example of Minto Bridge. Every year, a DTC bus submerged under a waterlogged Minto Bridge. However, the situation has so far been avoided this year.
To address the problem, an independent drain along Minto Road towards JLN Marg was laid in April this year as a trial measure to prevent the waterlogging at Minto Bridge. Now, after the success of the measure, the department has decided to widen the drain after monsoon. Officials said that the drain was implemented initially as a short-term measure. CCTVs have also been installed at the bridge, officials said.
They said in the long run provisions for an alternate drainage system for the area will be made, and the work is expected to be completed by 2022.
“We have made a lot of interventions to ensure no waterlogging takes place at Minto Bridge and we have been successful in doing that. This monsoon is perhaps the first time in past several decades, when no waterlogging has been reported from there. Considering how successful this model has been,, we will try and implement the same at other vulnerable points,” said Dilraj Kaur, PWD secretary.
After Minto Bridge, the Pul Prahladpur underpass is the second most dangerous spot, where the discharge of big catchment area flows into a bowl-shaped underpass and leads to flooding. Seven CCTV cameras have been installed there.
A third official said as an interim solution, the pumping capacity has been enhanced from 450 horsepower (HP) to 500 HP and seven temporary pumps, with a combined capacity of more than 400 HP, have been installed. As a permanent solution, an additional underground sump with enhanced pumping capacity will be provided.
With rainwater flowing down from a nearby railway track, the area under Zakhira flyover and Anand Parbat industrial area also witness waterlogging. The floating material from slum clusters adjacent to the railway track also add to the problem. The permanent solution for this has been suggested as removal of the local shanties by the northern railway, said officials.
There is a proposal for laying a pipeline direct up to the existing drain’s end to enhance the capacity of electric pumps at the Loni Road underpass.
At the Karala-Kanjhawala road, officials have proposed the construction and remodelling of drain with sump well and pumping system. At I.P. Estate, Ring Road opposite the WHO Building, the permanent solution will be constructing a sump having a capacity of approximately 1.5 lac litres with pumps of suitable discharge, before monsoon sets in next year, said officials.
Officials said that they have addressed at least 20 and as many as 37 complaints in barely 30 minutes. They said they have advised all their staffers to be ready as soon as they receive calls to ensure the situation at any particular spot in the city is under brought under control at the earliest.