Planning goes down the drain
The R 30,000-crore makeover Delhi is getting for the Commonwealth Games includes everything — flyovers, underpasses, subways, bus stations and even waterless toilets. But it lacks one crucial element: the veins of the city — its drainage system. Neelam Pandey reports.delhi Updated: Aug 21, 2010 01:14 IST
The R 30,000-crore makeover Delhi is getting for the Commonwealth Games includes everything — flyovers, underpasses, subways, bus stations and even waterless toilets.
But it lacks one crucial element: the veins of the city — its drainage system.
The long-forgotten drainage system is now crumbling. And along with it are the roads.
Old drainage system
A major part of the drainage system was constructed four decades back. Though cosmetic changes were made, nothing substantial has been done yet.
In areas such as North Delhi and the Walled City, the drain network is very old and needs to be fixed immediately. Many areas are not even linked to the drainage system.
In 2006, the Municipal Corporation of Dehli (MCD) proposed to hire private consultants to restructure the system but the plan never took off. The civic agency now claims it is taking the help of all other agencies to prepare a comprehensive drainage plan.
"The existing drains can't handle the pressure. There is a need to make a master plan for drainage too. However, all agencies need to co-ordinate to make it a success," said Mayor Prithvi Raj Sawhney.
The frenzied construction work is choking the storm-water drains. "The construction agencies leave the debris at the site and it enters the drains whenever it rains. All our efforts to clean the drains go futile," said a senior official.
The civic agency had identified 168 designated sites where construction waste could be dumped. But that has not helped as they are all located near footpaths and main roads and end up blocking traffic.
People to be blamed
People are covering rainwater outlets beside footpaths to create parking space.
Also, civic agencies constructing new footpaths have forgotten to create openings, obstructing the flow of water.
"The entire Hans Raj Gupta Marg in Greater Kailash-I has no outlets along the footpath. In such a situation, waterlogging is bound to take place," said Rajiv Kakaria, a resident of Greater Kailash I.
"Drains are designed to carry only of 0.5 cusecs of water per acre but the amount carried by them is almost double now," said a senior NDMC official.