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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Drain-widening project in Gurgaon hangs fire

The stretch connecting Hero Honda Chowk and Kherki Daula is inundated during the monsoon, grounding traffic and inconveniencing commuters

gurgaon Updated: Jun 18, 2017 23:04 IST
Kartik Kumar & Ipsita Pati
Kartik Kumar & Ipsita Pati
Hindustan Times
The Huda’s bid to widen the Khandsa drain before the monsoon has hit a wall over the issue of displacement of 35 families in the area.
The Huda’s bid to widen the Khandsa drain before the monsoon has hit a wall over the issue of displacement of 35 families in the area.(Parveen Kumar/HT PHOTO)

The stretch connecting Hero Honda Chowk and Kherki Daula turns into a commuters’ nightmare during monsoon, as it literally goes under water and grounds traffic on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, a low-lying area.

In July, last year, seasonal rain, coupled by breaches in the Badshahpur drain, resulted in a 48-hour traffic gridlock that forced authorities to come up with a solution to the perennial problem.

Following an aerial survey, the civic authorities realized that the drain, flowing through Khandsa village and located nearly 2km away from Hero Honda Chowk, was clogged resulting in a backflow of water towards National Highway-8.

To unclog the drain and reduce the backflow of water, civic authorities approved a drain widening project.

However, nearly a year later, the project remains in limbo.

The 40km drain is 30 metres wide at most stretches, but its width narrows to 10m at Khandsa village. The Haryana urban development authority (Huda) had proposed to expand the drain on both sides, in two phases.

In the first phase, the drain had to be widened by another 10 metres, starting from the expressway till the end of the village, a 600-metre stretch.

However, the project hit a wall over the issue of displacement of 35 families housed in 80 houses in Khandsa village, who refused to shift till they were assured of proper rehabilitation and compensation.

The civic authorities, till date, have failed to overcome this hurdle.

The Huda has not been able to convince the landowners facing displacement to shift to the proposed alternative location in Sector 37, as they claimed the area lacks basic amenities.

Similarly, Huda’s file to the state government for enhancing the compensation amount from ₹3.4 crore to ₹8 crore also awaits approval.

“We are laying infrastructure at Sector 37 to lure landowners into accepting the reallocation offer and also started the process of giving compensation to those who have agreed to shift. We are confident of a resolution in the near future and hope to start the drain widening project at the earliest,” Yashpal Yadav, Huda administrator, said.

Last year in August, officials of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) carried out an aerial survey of the Badshapur drain with the help of drones. On reviewing the contours of the map, the MCG engineers realised that the drain had been encroached on by Khandsa villagers.

Read I Ensure Hero Honda Chowk is free of waterlogging: Chief secretary to Gurgaon officials

The engineers identified that the encroachment had led to clogged drains and blocked sewer networks after reviewing the map contours. This was hindering the natural flow of drain water.

While officials failed to carry out large scale anti-encroachment drives, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) constructed a culvert that became operational last week to enable diversion of rainwater from Hero Honda Chowk and ensure that the critical junction is free from waterlogging.

The culvert has ben built along the existing drain and will clear out water from Hero Honda Chowk till Badshahpur drain (ahead of Khandsa village).

However,with the drain-widening project hanging fire, it remains to be seen whether the culvert will be able to stop rainwater from overflowing into the stretch this monsoon.

First Published: Jun 18, 2017 23:04 IST

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