Repeat of flood, snarls trauma after heaviest rain this season in Delhi
The heaviest rain so far this monsoon lashed the national capital on Thursday morning, leading to a repeat of the water-logging and commuting hassles seen on Wednesday. At least 50 stretches were inundated and snarls choked parts of central, south and west Delhi.
Delhi’s Aya Nagar weather station recorded 122.8mm of rain over 24 hours, the highest this monsoon so far and probably the highest in over a decade in Delhi. But this fact could not be established as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) does not have records for Aya Nagar station for the preceding years.
“We don’t have (previous years) records available for Aya Nagar station. It received very heavy rainfall, as the monsoon trough is passing over Delhi and has shifted towards the south. This is the reason that the southern parts of Delhi and the neighbouring regions received heavy rain,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre.
The IMD only keeps records for Safdarjung station (considered as representative of Delhi’s weather) and Palam station.
Going by these, on August 20, 2010, Safdarjung had recorded 110mm rain within a span of 24 hours, which falls in the ‘heavy’ category. This, weather scientists said, was the highest rainfall recorded in the past decade so far.
Rainfall between 64.5 – 115.5mm is considered “heavy” rain, while a reading between 115.6 – 204.4mm is considered “very heavy” rain.
On August 2, 1961, Safdarjung had recorded an all-time high of 184mm rain over 24 hours. Palam’s all-time record of ‘very heavy’ rainfall was on August 6, 1963, when it registered 183.6mm of rain over 24 hours.
On Thursday, Palam and Delhi Ridge stations received 89.1mm and 77.3mm rain, respectively, over 24 hours, both considered ”heavy” rainfall. The Safdarjung observatory recorded 54.8 mm rain over 24 hours, in the ”moderate” category.
The IMD at 5am Thursday issued an ‘Orange’ alert, warning of heavy rain in isolated places and predicting moderate rain and thundershowers in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) between 5.30am and 8.30am.
The Orange alert is issued to allow citizens and government agencies to prepare for heavy rain that may cause traffic disruption, increased chance of vehicular accidents and water accumulation in low-lying areas and on roads.
Pul Prahladpur underpass submerged
According to civic agencies and the public works department (PWD), at least 50 spots in the city reported water-logging. Some of the prominent locations where roads were inundated include Pul Prahladpur rail underpass, Bhairon Marg, near Hanuman Mandir Kashmere Gate, Rani Jhansi Road, near Vikas Bhawan ITO, the Ring Road near IP flyover, Maa Anandmayee Marg, Raja Garden flyover, Rohtak Road, Zakhira underpass, Joseph Tito road near Okhla Mandi, Kalkaji, Vikas Marg, Vishwas Nagar, Jhilmil underpass, Jangpura, New Friends Colony, Lal Kuan at Mehrauli-Badarpur Road, Paschim Vihar, and Pitampura, among others.
Images of water-logging at Pul Prahladpur underpass, doing the rounds of social media, showed a cluster bus (orange bus) half submerged. Authorities, however, said no one was trapped in the bus and that there was no casualty.
A senior PWD official said the heavy water-logging at the underpass was due to the unusually heavy rain, coupled with a Delhi Jal Board (DJB) sewer line overflow. “We have already asked the DJB to fix the sewer line. We have six permanent pumps installed there with a capacity to pump out 7,000 cubic metres of water per hour. It took us a few hours to clear the underpass,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
Commuters were stuck in traffic on Mathura Road, Ring Road, Vikas Marg, Rohtak Road near Punjabi Bagh, Sarai Kale Khan, BRT Road, Raja Garden, Najafgarh-Uttam Nagar Road, and Tughlakabad among others. In the morning, traffic police had to shut MB Road, due to water-logging at Pul Prahladpur underpass.
“Why can’t the authorities fix water-logging issues in the national capital? It’s a nightmare to drive on inundated roads and one gets stuck in jams for hours,” Kartik Kumar, a commuter and resident of Maharani Bagh, said.
Civic officials said the incidents of trees falling were also reported from around 35 places in the city. They said incidents of building/roof/wall collapses were reported from at least 10 locations.
Rain deficit made up
IMD’s Srivastava said the good spell of rain this week has already made up the capital city’s rain deficit and it is now in the surplus category. Safdarjung now has a surplus rainfall of 15%. Until August 18, it had a deficit of 14%.
The IMD data shows that after this week’s spell, the rainfall recorded in the month of August touched a surplus of 15%. Parts of west, central and south Delhi, which had received only traces of rain have also made up the deficit. At Palam, the monthly rainfall has reached a surplus of 40% over the past two days.