Kushak drain yet to be desilted, could lead to waterlogging in south Delhi, say residents
Kushak drain is an approximately 6.5km-long stormwater drain near South Extension, which carries stormwater and sewage from several south Delhi localities, such as Mehrauli-Badarpur Road, Chirag Dilli, INA, Defence Colony and Pushp Vihar.Updated: Jul 15, 2020 02:18 IST
Residents of south Delhi neighbourhoods such as South Extension and Defence Colony have alleged that the desilting of Kushak drain is yet to be completed even though the monsoon has already kicked in.
They added that the drain is yet to be cleaned—they can see garbage floating in the nullah. They said that if the drain remains clogged, it will lead to a backflow of water into other drains that merge with it near Defence Colony, in case of heavy rainfall.
Kushak drain is an approximately 6.5km-long stormwater drain near South Extension, which carries stormwater and sewage from several south Delhi localities, such as Mehrauli-Badarpur Road, Chirag Dilli, INA, Defence Colony and Pushp Vihar. It meets the Barapullah drain near Nizamuddin West and then flows into the Yamuna river.
Manjeet Singh Chugh, a representative of the South Extension-1 Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA), said that the monsoon had arrived but the authorities had not yet desilted one of the major drains in south Delhi. “Garbage is floating in the drain and blocking the flow of water. Monsoon has arrived but the drain is yet to be cleaned. It is just a matter of time—with just one good spell of rain, there will be waterlogging in localities such as South Extension, Defence Colony, Pushp Vihar and others,” Chugh said. He added that till last year the drain was under the aegis of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), but earlier this year it was transferred to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC). “Initially both authorities kept passing the buck over the desilting of Kushak drain, but now it’s clear that the SDMC has to perform the task. But hardly anything has been done,” Chugh said.
Ranjeet Singh, the president of the Defence Colony RWA, said that he had written to SDMC several times to clean this drain but to no avail.
“This drain was properly cleaned two years ago with the help of big machines; this year, the drain is yet to be cleaned. Last week, a few super sucker machines were deployed only for one day but the process was stopped and the drain remains clogged. The entire colony gets flooded with just two spells of rain because the drain is not clean. Desilting of drains is the primary job of the civic bodies and they fail to even do that,” Singh said.
Abhishek Dutt, the councillor of SDMC from Andrews Ganj, said that he has been raising the issue of selective desilting for a long time but to no avail. “Many small and big drains, such as the Andrews Ganj and GK-1 drains, meet the Kushak drain near Defence Colony. If Kushak drain is not desilted properly then it may lead to heavy waterlogging in many south Delhi areas such as GK-1, Chirag Dilli, Gautam Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Andrews Ganj, etc. because the water will flow back to tributary drains after heavy rainfall and lead to flooding,” Dutt said.
A senior official of SDMC, however, said that the civic body has begun the desilting process, which would be completed soon. He said that the delay occurred due to the handing over of the drain from DDA to SDMC and also because of the Covid-19 pandemic. “The completion of formalities took time plus the DDA had handed over the drain to us without desilting it. Above this, the pandemic has only made things worse. A significant portion of the drain has been cleaned and we hope that the process will be completed soon,” the official, who wished not to be named, said.
Anamika Mithilesh, the mayor of SDMC, said, “Discouraging waterlogging in localities is the primary focus of the civic body. We have issued instructions to officials to clean the drain at the earliest to avoid any problem of flooding during rain in south Delhi.”