Monsoon jitters: Civic bodies start cleaning Delhi drains ‘a bit too late’
With monsoon just round the corner, tonnes of silt lying on the roads of Delhi highlight the laid-back attitude of civic agencies in initiating the de-silting exercise on time. Since pre-monsoon showers have hit the city, the work of carrying the silt to the landfills has also been hit.
“The arrival of monsoon always increases our worries. While the drains are never cleaned, choked sewer lines add to the mess. The drains start overflowing often and dirty water enters our houses. After requesting the area MLA, some cleaning of manholes happens but nobody takes the responsibility to lift the sludge,” said Meena Gangahar, resident of GK II. The situation at Adarsh Nagar in north Delhi is similar as silt is strewn on roadsides here too.
However, an official of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation defended the exercise by saying wet silt cannot be dumped at landfills and is therefore left outside the drains to dry for three days.
“We can’t take the wet waste to landfills because it will leak during transportation and result into mess on the roads,” said Yoginder Singh Mann, spokesperson for East and North MCD.
Meanwhile, many residents in Malviya Nagar and Hauz Rani are still waiting for MCD staff to clean the drains. “We approached the sanitation staff three days back but didn’t get any concrete assurance from them,” said Charu Malik, resident of G-11 in Malviya Nagar.
On June 22, Delhi’s PWD minister Satyendar Jain conducted a surprise visit to the Mehrauli-Badarpur road, after reports of massive waterlogging from the area. On June 23, when HT visited the site it found that drains were being cleaned on a war footing, however, there was massive traffic jam on the road since rain water had also accumulated in the area.
A similar chaos was seen in Sangam Vihar as the Delhi Jal Board was laying sewer lines which added to the chaos.
In east, the de-silting exercise is in progress at Vikas Marg and other arterial roads under PWD. “It’s been three days since the silt is lying in front of my house. Due to rains, foul smell is spreading and it has become difficult living here,” said a resident of G Block, Preet Vihar.