One killed after heavy rainfall in Delhi; streets waterlogged, Metro services affected in NCR
Delhi’s Palam recorded the decade’s highest August rainfall in a single day at 100mm, an India Meteorological Department official said.Updated: Aug 28, 2018 23:25 IST
New Delhi/Gurugram, Hindustan Times
Record rainfall lashed parts of Delhi and its neighbouring areas early on Tuesday, killing one person in the national Capital, inundating arterial roads in Gurugram, affecting services on Metro’s Blue Line, and stranding commuters in parts of south-west Delhi in the morning rush hour.
Delhi’s Palam recorded the decade’s highest August rainfall in a single day at 100mm, an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said. The Safdarjung observatory, whose readings are considered to be the representative of Delhi’s weather, received around 50mm of rain. On August 2, 2007, Palam recorded 138.2mm rain.
In Uttam Nagar West, a 50-year-old woman was killed and two family members, including her son, were injured when the roof of their room collapsed in heavy rains, police said.
Gurugram, where serpentine queues of vehicles on flooded roads are a common sight every monsoon, got the highest rainfall in a day in the last eight years. At 128mm, it was more than double the amount of rainfall Gurugram received two years ago on July 28, when a 20-hour traffic jam — referred to as ‘Gurujam’ — choked the city. On August 22, 2010, Gurugram received 162mm of rain.
Scientists from IMD said the intensity of the rain is expected to decrease from Wednesday, as factors that triggered the showers — easterly winds bringing in moisture, and a convergence of a cyclonic circulation over Delhi and south Haryana and the Monsoon trough passing over the region — were weakening.
In Delhi, on key stretches leading to IGI airport, including Dhaula Kuan, Rao Tula Ram Marg, Palam and Mahipalpur, vehicles moved at a snail’s pace due to water-logging. Moderate to heavy rain also hit Lodhi Road, Aya Nagar and Najafgarh.
Authorities imposed speed restrictions on a section of the Delhi Metro’s Blue Line, which connects Dwarka to Vaishali/Noida, since ongoing maintenance work could not be completed due to heavy rains, officials said. Passengers said this led to the services being delayed, which in turn resulted in overcrowding.
As Gurugram woke up to lightning and thunder, the police deployed personnel to pump rainwater out and remove traffic congestion. Key areas such as Hero Honda Chowk-Narsinghpur, HUDA City Centre, St Thomas Marg, Sohna Road, Sectors 28, 41 and 47 and South City 1 Road were under knee-deep water after a five-hour spell of rain between 4am and 9am.
Though civic agencies and a team of 2,500 policemen working from 6am managed to prevent the rerun of the 2016 ‘Gurujam’, water on a few key stretches did not recede till late evening.
“Officials were put on ground prior to the rush hour to ensure there was minimal effect on the movement of traffic,” said Hira Singh, assistant commissioner of police (traffic).
V Umashankar, the CEO of Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority, said “drainage remains a major concern for the city” but cited timely response and “ramped up efforts to control traffic”.
Residents said they were stranded for hours in the morning even as some schools declared holidays.
“There was knee-deep water everywhere. It was virtually impossible to get out of the house. On certain roads, water was waist-high, and even using vehicles to get out of the situation was not an option,” said Vatsal Sinha, a resident of Sector 28.
Abhishek Dayal, a resident of Nirvana Country, said, “I left my house around 8am and finally managed to reach MG Road by 10.15am. Throughout the way, the internal roads were water-logged. However, unlike 2016, when residents left their cars on roads and travelled on foot, I did not see a similar incident as traffic police officials were present at all major crossings directing traffic.”
People in Gurugram also complained of a long waiting period while booking cabs provided by app-based services and high fares charged by cycle-rickshaws.
Politicians from Opposition parties attacked the BJP-led Haryana government over the civic mess in Gurugram but a spokesperson of the ruling party said “water receded relatively faster due to the efforts and measures that were in place” this time around.
First Published: Aug 28, 2018 23:24 IST