Crores go down the drain as Delhi fails to fix its monsoon mess

Every year during monsoon, the national capital comes to a halt with knee-deep water on arterial roads choking the city and no one to take the responsibility.
Traffic jam after heavy rain at Dhaula Kuan on Thursday.(Hindustan Times)
Traffic jam after heavy rain at Dhaula Kuan on Thursday.(Hindustan Times)
Published on Jul 15, 2016 11:55 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | ByMohit Sharma and Mallica Joshi, New Delhi

Every year during monsoon, the national capital comes to a halt with knee-deep water on arterial roads choking the city and no one to take the responsibility.

There are at least 17 government agencies in Delhi, which are in some way involved in road, drainage and their maintenance. Therefore, even though the three municipal corporations are responsible for providing civic amenities to 98% of the city, there are areas that do not fall under its jurisdiction.

The five national highways in the city, for example, fall under the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). So, if one of these gets waterlogged, only NHAI will have to clear the mess.

All roads more than 60 feet wide fall under the Public Works Department (PWD).

In the unauthorized colonies and slums, several agencies, including the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), are responsible for development.

This means there are areas that often see overlapping jurisdiction. “There are multiple drains which have overlapping jurisdiction. For example, a drain 10 km long may have two to three governing agencies, this leaves no scope of fixing responsibility,” said a municipal official.

Activists have long been pointing out how the involvement of several agencies is a big problem.

Environmentalist Manoj Mishra wrote to the Delhi chief minister and L-G, demanding that all stormwater drains in the city should be managed by a single authority so that accountability can be fixed.

“The ritual of spending crores of rupees and desilting should be stopped till a single agency in the is made in charge of the stormwater drains,” he wrote.

The lack of a fully developed sewer system also plays a role in the constant waterlogging and flooding of roads during monsoon. According to Delhi Jal Board officials, only 55% of the city has a sewer connection.

“This means the sewerage from 45% of the city is still dumped wherever it can go, including into stormwater drains. In the areas that have a sewage system, the problem is that of stormwater entering them. Sewer drains have a limited capacity but many storm water drains are connected to sewer lines illegally. In monsoons, this becomes a problem because rainwater enters the sewer, causing it to overflow,” said Keshav Chandra, CEO, Delhi Jal Board.

Municipal corporations spend approximately R240 crore primarily on the process of de-silting drains. As per their data, all three corporations successfully de-silted all drains in their areas before monsoon.

They claim they are ready to combat a Mumbai-like situation in the national capital. Comparing the two megacities, however, is erroneous.

Delhi gets only 611 mm of rain in a year whereas Mumbai gets almost four times more at 2,409 mm.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Noor Ahmad says he arrived in Delhi two years ago with his ‘mama’ (uncle) who lives nearby, in Darya Ganj.

    Delhiwale: Portrait of a childhood

    Noor Ahmad is just 14. More astonishing is the fact that despite being so young, he lives far from his family. Noor Ahmad explains that “when one doesn't have much money at home, then one has to go to distant places to earn money”. At night, he eats out in an eatery. While discussing his inability to attend school, Noor Ahmad remarks that he is not able to read English.

  • The allegations are of allegedly making appointments at Haryana State Warehousing Corporation in an illegal and arbitrary manner when senior Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka served as its MD. (File photo)

    Khemka approaches HC seeking quashing of FIR

    Senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka has approached the Punjab and Haryana high court seeking quashing of an FIR registered in Panchkula under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Senior advocate RS Cheema is likely to appear for the IAS officer. The FIR was registered on the complaint of Haryana State Warehousing Corporation, managing director, Sanjeev Verma, on April 26 at Sector-5 police station in Panchkula. Verma, too, was booked on a complaint from Khemka.

  • As per the notification issued by the ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute’s regional centre in Karnal, the lot of this variety sold between February 25 and April 4 this year, which had the germination capacity above the fixed 80%, has been recalled as there is a possibility of decline in the germination. (AP file photo)

    Karnal: Basmati seeds recalled over poor germination

    Amid complaints of poor germination, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute's regional centre in Karnal has recalled the seeds of Pusa Basmati 1509 variety of rice it sold to farmers. The quantity of seeds sold during this period was not disclosed, but it is said that it cost 80/kg. Officials have asked the farmers, who had bought the seeds during this period from here, to contact them by May 21 along with the receipt and seeds.

  • National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel clear the charred debris from a burnt floor a day after a fire broke out in a commercial building at Mundka, New Delhi. (HT PHOTO.)

    Mundka fire: Owners of building, factory to be quizzed; DNA samples of 26 taken

    The Delhi Police on Monday said that they will seek the custody of the two businessmen who were running an industrial unit in a Mundka building where a devastating fire killed 27 people on Friday in order to question them along with the owner of the building. The Goyal brothers were arrested on Friday, and the owner, Manish Lakra was arrested on Sunday.

  • A case was registered against 11 identified persons under sections 148, 149, 323, 307, 302 and 506 of the IPC. (Image for representational purpose)

    Attack by rival group: Three bodies fished out of Yamunanagar canal

    A day after 10 persons had jumped into Western Yamuna Canal in Buria region of Yamunanagar after allegedly being threatened by a rival group, a team of the national disaster response force (NDRF) on Monday recovered three bodies. The deceased were identified as Nikhil, Sahil and Suleman, while Allaudin and Sunny are still missing, superintendent of police Kamaldeep Goyal said. All of them were between 18 and 22 years of age and residents of Jagadhri.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, May 17, 2022