Delay in floating tenders for desilting master drains raises ‘Gurujam’ fear
With just over three weeks left for the monsoon to officially hit the Indian coastline, the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) has floated tenders for desilting Subhash Chowk-Vatika Chowk and Subhash Chowk-Hero Honda Chowk stretches — two of the stretches most prone to waterlogging in the city, officials said on Wednesday.
“Due to the model code of conduct, we could not float the tenders for desilting master drains around Subhash Chowk on time. We are hoping to finalise a contractor within the next two weeks and get work started immediately,” GMDA chief engineer Lalit Arora said.
GMDA officials, however, said desilting will take two months to complete, raising concerns that the city may witness waterlogging again.
Arora said desilting will be carried out with the help of super suction machines and the exercise is projected to cost ₹97 lakh. He reiterated that by next month, drains would be in a condition to hold the run-off rainwater from city roads.
“There is high deposition of silt inside the master drains and hence, it will take until July to clean. By the time monsoon hits the city, a large portion of the drain will be cleared, which will be enough for run-off rainwater from the roads,” Arora said.
The master drain at Subhash Chowk is linked to the Badshahpur drain, which flows past Khandsa village, where the Badshahpur drain’s width reduces from 30 metres to 10 metres — as discovered in the aftermath of the 2016 deluge at Hero Honda Chowk. The narrowing of Badshahpur drain reduces the drain’s capacity from 2,200 cusecs to just 700 cusecs, forcing a large volume of the rainwater runoff to backflow and flood areas along Hero Honda Chowk, Subhash Chowk, Vatika Chowk and parts of Sohna Road.
With work on widening Badshahpur drain still in progress, which GMDA officials said would permanently solve the waterlogging issue along these stretches, desilting the master drain will mitigate the impact of heavy rains even if the widening work is not completed before monsoon.
“All arrangements are in place for the widening, and we are on course to completing it prior to the monsoons,” HSVP executive engineer Shweta Sharma, who is in-charge of the Khandsa drain expansion work, said.
The drain-widening was supposed to be completed by April 31.
Vatika Chowk and Subhash Chowk, both on Sohna Road, are among the most important junctions in the city. They carry traffic from Alwar, Southern Peripheral Road, Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and Golf Course Extension Road.