Drain desilting may fail to meet deadline in Gurugram

The MCG officials said that the 109 kilometres of drains that are unlikely to be desilted are mainly the sector drains that affect the localised stretches within the residential sectors of the city.
(HT Photo)
(HT Photo)
Updated on Jun 24, 2019 08:29 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Gurugram | ByKartik Kumar & Archana Mishra

Only 241 out of 350 kilometres of arterial stormwater drains across the city is likely to be desilted by June 30 while the ongoing work on the key waterlogging-prone areas may not be completed before the monsoon arrives, as per the documents shared among officials of the district administration, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) and the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) at a meeting on June 13 at the Mini Secretariat. Hindustan Times is in possession of a copy of the documents.

The MCG officials said that the 109 kilometres of drains that are unlikely to be desilted are mainly the sector drains that affect the localised stretches within the residential sectors of the city.

MCG officials said that due to the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct for the 2019 general elections, they encountered a two-month delay in floating of tenders for the desilting work. As such, they are left with no other choice but to clean only those areas that are prone to frequent waterlogging.

“We had just over a month left for allocating tenders and desilting drains. It takes two months of continuous desilting work to clean a drain completely. Since we were heavily short of time, officials have decided to clean only those points where waterlogging is known to pose a perennial problem. In the remaining 109 kilometres, the drains are unlikely to be touched this year, as there is no point of cleaning them after the monsoon has already arrived. We may have to install motor pumps at these points if they face waterlogging,” said an MCG official in the engineering wing, privy to the matter.

All arterial drains in the city are maintained by the MCG while all the master drains are looked after by the GMDA. As per the official document, the MCG has set a budget of 22.05 crore for desilting drains.

“We have allocated a budget of around 18 crore to desilt stormwater drains across the city. More than 120 of MCG’s own staff members are deployed towards this purpose besides the staff of the contractors. The Model Code of Conduct delayed the process of floating of tender considerably. However, the work on desilting the remaining drains is going on at a full pace,” said Vivek Gill, executive engineer of the MCG.

The documents also reveal that the civic authorities have identified as many as 30 points that are vulnerable to waterlogging, of which work to combat water accumulation in some of the areas is yet to be completed.

Of these 30 points, there are at least three focal points in the city, where waterlogging could disrupt traffic movement due to their location and their proximity to key roads and destinations.

These points include areas such as the stretch between Sohna Chowk and Vatika Chowk, that between Atul Kataria Chowk and Old Delhi Road, and Hero Honda Chowk.

In Sohna Chowk-Vatika Chowk stretch, tenders for desilting were only allotted earlier this month. In the stretch between Atul Kataria Chowk and Old Delhi Road, the construction work of a stormwater drain is still ongoing, while the widening of a 600-metre portion of the Khandsa drain near Hero Honda Chowk is scheduled to be completed by June 30

Hero Honda Chowk

In the aftermath of the 2016 deluge, the narrowing of a 600-metre portion of the Badshahpur drain at Khandsa village was identified as the main reason for waterlogging.

The drain, which had a width of 30 metres, was reduced to 10 metres at the village. This meant that the carrying capacity of the drain was reduced from 2,200 cusecs to merely 700 cusecs at the village, resulting in drain water overflowing to the nearby areas and flooding the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway.

The widening work by Haryana Shahri Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP), which would increase the carrying capacity of the drain to 1,800 cusecs, has been ongoing since 2016. Officials, however, said they expect to meet the latest deadline of June 30.“We do not foresee any obstacles in our way. The work is in its last phase and we are expecting it to be completed by a day in advance i.e. by June 29,” said Shweta Sharma, executive engineer, HSVP.

Besides the problem of the Khandsa drain, the poor drainage capacity of the underpass at Hero Honda Chowk was also in focus last year as more than 50 million litres of rainwater had accumulated there, rendering the underpass unusable for nearly 50 hours.

Earlier this week, Millennium City Expressway Ltd (MCEPL) officials, the concessionaire of the expressway, said that they have deployed as many as seven pumps of 10 horsepower (HP) capacity and four pumps of 20 HP at Hero Honda Chowk and other flood-prone spots along the expressway that are equipped to drain out around 6,500 litres per minute.

Sohna Chowk-Vatika Chowk

The problems associated with the narrowing of Badshahpur drain are not restricted to Hero Honda Chowk alone.

As per GMDA officials, the backflow of drain water from Khandsa also enters the drains located along Sohna Road, thereby flooding key junctions such as Vatika Chowk, Subhash Chowk, and Sohna Chowk each monsoon.

This stretch not only carries traffic locally to areas located on the Golf Course Extension Road, Southern Peripheral Road, Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and the Civil Lines but also serves as a key link to the traffic headed towards and coming from Alwar.

The widening of Khandsa drain, if completed before monsoon, is likely to provide only partial relief this season as work on desilting the drains on this stretch has only recently started.

“The stretch was under maintenance by the Public Works Department and dependant on the funds provided by the National Highways Authority of India. The NHAI took over the stretch on February 1 and has recently awarded the contract for desilting the drains. The contractor has started cleaning the drains,” said an NHAI official privy to the matter.

Atul Kataria Chowk-Old Delhi-Gurgaon Road

For the last two decades, residents living along Old Delhi-Gurgaon Road have had to encounter large amounts of sewerage water on the stretch, as rainwater water mixed with sewerage would overflow on to the roads due to the poor drainage system.

This year, on April 11, GMDA sanctioned a 55 lakh contract to a concessionaire for repairing the master sewer line, by replacing cement pipeline with PVC line, between Kapashera border and Atul Kataria Chowk located along the Old Delhi-Gurgaon Road. Work on desilting the drains on the stretch was also part of the contract.

The work, however, may not be fully completed before the monsoon. As such, the residents may once again face problems associated with overflowing of sewerage water.

“We have encountered some issues in Dundahera, where we may need to install motor pumps to ensure smooth flow of drain water. Further, work on desilting and replacing pipelines is also ongoing. However, we are hoping to finish the work before the monsoon,” said Lalit Arora, chief engineer of the GMDA.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022