Drains in bad shape, flooding scare looms
Disaster management officials and the irrigation department are wary of flooding in the Millennium City this monsoon. Eshani Mathur reports.Updated: Jun 06, 2011 01:31 IST
Disaster management officials and the irrigation department are wary of flooding in the Millennium City this monsoon. They predicted 'man-made' flooding after several natural drains were blocked due to construction activities.
The irrigation department has blamed the town and country planning (T&CP) department for issuing licences to developers, who have built buildings over natural drain sites.
Gurgaon has three main natural drains, which are now blocked due to large-scale infrastructure development over the last few years.
The Badshahpur drain alone carries 800 cusecs of water from the Aravalli into the Yamuna river, via Gurgaon. The total discharge of all three drains exceeds 1,000 cusecs, which is 10 times the current daily water supply to the city from the Gurgaon Water Supply Canal.
“Water accumulated in the Aravalli hills and other parts of the city flows through these natural drains, and reach Najafgarh drain No. 8 (Yamuna river),” an irrigation department official said. “If these drains overflow, then all low-lying areas will be submerged during monsoon,” said the official.
This has happened in the past, yet several malls, residential colonies and high-rises have come up on these drains. In 2010, construction activities in sectors 58, 62 and 65 near Southern Periphery Road was stopped after the whole area was submerged during light rain. Other affected areas include Sushant Lok 2 and 3, Surya Vihar and DLF Phase 3, which are all built on top of natural drains.
IMT Manesar Road was also flooded in 2009. The HSIIDC plans to build a box drain parallel to the road to solve this problem. The T&CP department also plans to build a box drain parallel to KMP expressway to allow developers to build colonies.
DLF Phase 3 (U Block), Belvedere Tower and Sushant Lok Phase 2 and 3 were flooded during 2010 monsoon. Developers had demolished or blocked several culverts in these areas. For example, the Sikanderpur culvert was blocked by a builder to make way for a residential society.
"The fault is with the T&CP department. It never consulted the irrigation department or the disaster management authority before issuing no-objection certificates and granting licences. The T&CP department should have ensured proper drainage systems before allowing colonies and big malls to come up," said Abhay Kumar Shrivastava, head of the National Institute of Disaster Management.
The Rapid Metro project may harm the Nathupur bund. A senior irrigation department official said the Metro runs parallel to the drain, and at some areas it runs directly over the drain. The distance between the two is only 1,000 feet.
“But all is not lost. Civic authorities can build check dams and even revive whatever is left of natural drains. If a strong drainage system is built, then the problem can be controlled to some extent,” an irrigation department official said.
The T&CP department said it has not given licences to builders. “Developers directly negotiate with village panchayats and take possession of common land to start their projects,” a T&CP official said.
First Published: Jun 06, 2011 01:29 IST