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Pray to god to beat rain woes: Sheila

Pray to god, is Delhi Chief Minister's Sheila Dikshit's advice to Delhiites reeling under perennial waterlogging woes. HT reports.

india Updated: Jul 22, 2013 23:49 IST
HT correspondent
HT correspondent
Hindustan Times

Pray to god, is Delhi chief minister's Sheila Dikshit's advice to Delhiites reeling under perennial waterlogging woes.

As the civic agencies and the Delhi government's public works department have failed miserably to address the issues of flooded streets and collapsing roads, the chief minister suggested that Delhiites should now seek divine intervention.

"If you do not want traffic-trouble, pray to God to stop the rains," Dikshit told reporters who asked her possible solutions to the waterlogging problems.

Delhi came to a grinding halt after a two-hour downpour flooded almost the entire city. There were long traffic jams and it took hours for the people to reach their destinations. There were reports of roads caving in from some parts of the city too. Delhi Metro's two stations - Saket and Malviya Nagar - had to be closed for almost five hours as rainwater had entered the area.

The departure area of the world-class terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport was also flooded, forcing the authorities to use the arrival terminal for people to exit the airport building.

While the traffic police had a tough time managing vehicular movement, the PWD and the civic agencies blamed each other for a choked drainage system.

Dikshit, however, said she did not wish to indulge in a blame game. "I do not want to get into pin the responsibility on one agency. It is the collective responsibility of all agencies concerned," she said.

Delhi PWD minister Raj Kumar Chauhan, however, did not mince words. He blamed the municipal corporations for failing to keep the drains clean.

"We have spent Rs 25 crore on cleaning 1,200 km of drains. The fact is that the MCD never took the drain cleaning job seriously," Chauhan said.

The minister, however, added that it was time that all agencies joined hands and worked together to ensure that whenever it rains, water is cleared out at the earliest and traffic movement is not affected.

Public works department officials admitted that there were problems which needed to be tackled.

"Delhi's drains are capable of handling only 25mm rain per hour but it rained more than 100 mm in just two hours. We will now send our suggestion to IIT-Delhi (which is preparing Delhi's drainage master plan) that the drains be designed in a manner that such heavy downpour could be tackled," said a senior PWD engineer.

First Published: Jul 22, 2013 23:01 IST