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Hero Honda Chowk underpass off limits for another day, officials pass the buck

Officials of the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) said that the pumps installed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to drain the water did not work.

gurgaon Updated: Aug 30, 2018 12:52 IST
Kartik Kumar
Kartik Kumar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Hero Honda Chowk,underpass,Gurujam
Officials are in the process of draining rainwater from the underpass, but said more rain could hamper the work. (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

A day after the city received its highest rainfall in a day in the last eight years, the underpass at Hero Honda Chowk remained flooded. Officials of the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) said that it would remain unusable for another day.

GMDA officials said that the pumps installed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to drain the water did not work. During an inspection of the underpass on Wednesday, V Umashankar, the GMDA’s chief executive officer (CEO), said that the pump sets installed at the underpass are supposed to automatically switch on when rainwater starts accumulating, but for reasons unknown, they did not do so on Tuesday.

He said that the pumps were functioning during a mock drill conducted by the GMDA in June, when the underpass was filled with 70,000 litres of water from nine fire tenders.

“Furthermore, the pump sets installed by the NHAI in Sector 34, to ensure that water from the Badshahpur drain does not flow towards the junction also malfunctioned, which led to the underpass being inundated,” Umashankar said.

He said that the GMDA would take over lighting and drainage from the NHAI, once it completes the construction of the underpass at IFFCO Chowk and fixes the deficiencies at the Hero Honda Chowk underpass identified after Tuesday’s rain, to ensure that a single agency is responsible for the task. “The only long-term solution to prevent waterlogging at the junction and Narsinghpur area is to construct a new drain along the Southern Peripheral Road (SPR) and Dwarka Expressway,” said Umashankar.

Officials of the NHAI, however, denied the claims.

Ashok Sharma, the project director of NHAI, said, “The pumps were working, but there was a heavy inflow of rainwater from the Sector 10 side (heavier than the pump capacity) and the pumping was not effective as the panels got submerged in water.”

“The GMDA could not ensure connectivity of the drain on the Sector 10 side, despite assurances. The overflow of Badshahpur drain aggravated the problem. With the rate of inflow being higher than the outflow of the motor pumps, the underpass got flooded,” said Sharma.

Sharma added that the GMDA, MCG and NHAI are collectively handling the situation and rainwater, up to a height of one-and-a-half metres, has accumulated there and seven fire tenders and five motor pumps are being used to drain out the water.

Around 3.30pm on Wednesday, Gurugram MP Rao Inderjit Singh, deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh and mayor Madhu Azad visited the site and took stock of the situation.

Vinay Pratap Singh said, “Authorities will try to drain rainwater by Thursday morning and ensure it is functional for commuters by the evening.”

Rao Inderjit Singh, after inspecting the spot, recommended several measures to fix the problem.

He told officials to build check dams in the Aravallis to contain run-off rainwater.

When apprised by officials of the existing plan on similar lines, he directed them to expedite the process and divert rainwater to Sultanpur lake, as it could end waterlogging and also help recharge the groundwater table.

MG Road cave-in

A small portion of the road also caved in near the MG Road Metro station, just a few metres before the pedestrian bridge, around 7am. NHAI officials immediately cordoned off the spot and opened it up after filling it with bitumen by 11am. No mishap was reported.

First Published: Aug 30, 2018 02:26 IST