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Heavy rain in Delhi-NCR causes traffic jams, waterlogging; more predicted

Commuters had a harrowing time as incessant rains triggered waterlogging on many roads. Traffic moved at a snail’s pace, prompting the Delhi Traffic Police to issue advisories on roads best avoided.

delhi Updated: Jul 26, 2018 23:15 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal and Snehil Sinha
Peeyush Khandelwal and Snehil Sinha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Heavy showers in Delhi NCR,Delhi rains,Rain in Delhi NCR
Traffic moves at a slow pace as vehicles cross a water-logged street after heavy rains near Anand Parbat at Rohtak Road in New Delhi, on Thursday. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)

Heavy rain through Wednesday night and Thursday morning wreaked havoc in parts of Noida, Greater Noida Ghaziabad and east Delhi, leading to a road cave-in, building and wall collapses, water-logging in colonies and inside buildings, and long traffic jams in various parts of the National Capital Region.

A 14-year-old girl was killed after a portion of a house collapsed in Shaheed Nagar in Ghaziabad, while another minor boy sustained injuries after a wall collapsed in Khoda. In another incident, a 40-year-old man died after suspected electrocution inside the Shipra Suncity housing complex in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad.

In Vasundhara’s Sector 4C, 64 families living in Vartalok Society evacuated the building in panic after the cave-in — which led to a crater nearly 20 feet deep and 35 feet long — prompted fears of structural damage to the apartment complex.

Gautam Budh Nagar recorder 33mm of rain on Thursday and Ghaziabad 23.2mm.

According to the meteorological department data, the rainfall in Gautam Budh Nagar was 667% higher than normal and in Ghaziabad it was 205% higher than normal for a single day during July.

Meteorological department officials have forecast more heavy showers on Friday due to two rain-triggering systems — cyclonic circulation and the creation of a low-pressure area — in the region. The intensity of the rain will decrease on Saturday, they said.

In Delhi, water-logging was reported from Jagatpuri, Sarita Vihar, Dwarka Link Road, Mayapuri Chowk, Dwarka More, Minto Road, Geeta Colony and stretches between Sarai Kale Khan and Nizamuddin, Badarpur and Ashram.

Till 5:30 pm on Thursday, Safdarjung, which is considered representative of city’s weather, received around 19 mm of rainfall. The heaviest rain was recorded in the Ridge area -- around 30 mm.

The Delhi government on Thursday afternoon issued the first flood warning list (what is this?) after Haryana released around 1.36 lakh cusecs of water from where to where that could affect low-lying areas on the Yamuna floodplain.

The Delhi high court on Thursday slammed the Delhi administration’s inability to curtail recurring water-logging across the city and ordered a mapping of all drains and the areas they service. A bench of acting chief justice Gita Mittal and justice C Hari Shankar said there should be a consolidated colour-coded mapping of storm water drains.

The bench pointed out that photos in newspapers showing a bus submerged under Shivaji Bridge (Minto Road) showed how the administration was not doing enough. “It doesn’t seem like it is Delhi. It looks like some tribal area,” the bench said, asking for a “composite plan” to fix the problem rather than piecemeal plans from different agencies.

In Ghaziabad, police had to close one side of the newly inaugurated 10.3km-long Hindon elevated road for nearly four hours on Thursday morning after heavy rain caused water-logging near UP Gate. The district magistrate in Ghaziabad has declared that all schools will remain shut on Saturday, in Noida the decision has been left to the discretion of schools.

Residents of Vasundhara blamed the road cave-in on digging activity undertaken by a developer on a plot across the road from Vartalok housing society. “The construction activity is on for past 4-5 years and a huge pit has been in place for past several years,” said Rajiv Kumar, president of the Vartalok society Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA).

“It happened a few minutes after the school bus crossed the road at around 7.30am. I was walking back home and heard a thud. I rushed to the spot and saw that a major portion of the road had collapsed. The entire water from the road was flowing into the crater,” said Rajesh Kumar, who was among the first people to see the cave-in.

While KA Singhal, the superintending engineer of UP Avas Vikas, the agency that developed Vasundhara, said the roads were constructed nearly 20 years ago and handed over to the municipal corporation in 2002 for maintenance, municipal commissioner CP Singh blamed the agency for not informing them about the digging activity on the plot across the road.

In Greater Noida, a three-storey house collapsed in Mubarakpur village, but the family that lived in it had vacated the building before it collapsed, and an under-construction hospital wall collapsed in Noida’s Sector 71.

First Published: Jul 26, 2018 09:28 IST