Civic agencies to clean city drains collectively
The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) and the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) have decided to collaborate to clean up stormwater drains across the city, after realising that tenders to do so had not been floated in several areas, which may not leave enough time for them to prepare for the monsoon, officials said on Monday.
The GMDA is responsible for maintaining all master drains in the city while the MCG looks after all arterial drains.
Officials of both agencies attributed the delay in floating tenders to the general elections and the model code of conduct. Officials said the tendering process is yet to start even for areas such as Vatika Chowk, Subhash Chowk and Hero Honda Chowk that are prone to flooding every time it rains.
According to chief executive officer of the GMDA, V Umashankar, instead of floating new tenders in certain areas, the two civic agencies will extend their coverage and clean drains in each other’s jurisdiction.
For example, if the GMDA is cleaning drains in Hero Honda Chowk, they could extend coverage to sectors 10A and 34 which fall under the MCG’s jurisdiction, and vice versa.
“The GMDA will step in where the MCG has an issue, and they will step in where we face an issue. Ultimately, the city is our priority. Currently, we have our contracts in place for certain areas of the city that can be extended into areas where the MCG has not been able to enter into, and vice versa,” Umashankar said.
Umashankar added that MCG commissioner Yashpal Yadav took the lead on this issue and came to him with this “unification” proposal.
“If a situation of waterlogging arises, officials from both civic bodies are not going to look into jurisdictions. We will step into each other’s areas and help each other out. It is part of a long-term unification process to help streamline common objectives in the city,” Umashankar said.
The MCG has set a June 30 deadline to clean all drains falling under its jurisdiction. Yadav said that due to the 2019 general elections there was a nearly two-month delay in floating of tenders during the model code of conduct period. Since, a lot of work in desilting of drains remained, the MCG and GMDA decided to collaborate. When asked why the tenders for the desilting of drains were not floated before the the model code of conduct came into effect, a senior MCG official in the engineering wing said, “The teanders have to be floated and work started simultaneously; we cannot clean the drains earlier than April as silt deposits start resurfacing in the drains, rendering the entire purpose useless.”
“We recently hired a Delhi-based private company that will use Geographical Information Survey (GIS) to inform us of the condition of existing drains across the city including those falling under the GMDA’s jurisdiction. Based on the findings of the survey, the MCG and the GMDA will be prioritising the desilting of those drains that both agencies feel are vulnerable to waterlogging,” Yadav said.
Lalit Arora, chief engineer of the GMDA said that the two bodies are targeting the cleaning of around 150 kilometres of stormwater drains together. “Since there is little time left for the monsoon to arrive, only time will tell how many areas can be desilted by private contractors,” he said.