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In middle of monsoon, Chandigarh MC wants report, not action

During House meeting, MC chief asks councillors to provide list of areas prone to inundation, says MC chief engineer will then study it.

punjab Updated: Aug 01, 2017 14:33 IST
Hillary Victor 
Hillary Victor 
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh MC,monsoon mayhem,monsoon
B Purushartha said the MC doesn’t have a solution to tackle waterlogging during heavy showers as of now.(HT File )

Finally, the municipal corporation has woken up — not to provide a concrete solution, but — to find reasons for waterlogging in the city.

Just two showers in the past one week — in an otherwise weak monsoon this year — have exposed the lack of preparedness of the city’s municipal corporation (MC).

Dear MC chief, here are the reasons!
  • Water from drains in Sectors 10, 16, 23, 36, 42 and 52 is disposed of in a natural ‘choe’, which originates in Sector 3 and passes through these sectors before entering SAS Nagar. During heavy rains, the ‘choe’ starts overflowing and stormwater drains in these sectors remain blocked till the water recedes.
  • Stormwater drainage from the Press Chowk in Sector 18 also flows into the natural ‘choe’ in Sector 52. Downpour that floods the ‘choe’ has a cascading effect on the drains, which remain clogged and start overflowing
  • Also, the faulty level of stormwater pipelines leads to flooding of roads. Take the case of Sector 34/35 junction, where the level of pipelines is such that even light rain leads to waterlogging. The situation is the same near the CTU workshop at the Industrial Area, Phase 1
  • The level of most of roundabouts is two to three feet higher than that of the road, which leads to waterlogging around them
  • Also, dividers on several roads impede the natural flow of water, leading to inundation at various spots along them

Municipal commissioner B Purushartha, during the MC House meeting on Monday, asked all councillors to identify the spots in their respective areas that are prone to waterlogging. He said the list should be given to MC chief engineer NP Sharma, who will then study the problem.

Councillors say this exercise should have been conducted before the advent of monsoon, not in the middle of the season. They also questioned the spending of Rs 1.25 crore on cleaning the road gullies.

‘Drainage not designed for heavy rains’

B Purushartha said the MC doesn’t have a solution to tackle waterlogging during heavy showers as of now.

“The city’s drainage system is not designed for heavy rains, which in part is responsible for the frequent waterlogging,” said the MC chief. He said the drainage system in Sector 30 and beyond has been designed to handle only 15mm rain per hour, whereas in older sectors, the stormwater drains can handle 25mm rain per hour.

“This is why the water takes longer to recede during downpour,” said the MC chief. “ Anytime the rain crosses 40mm-per-hour mark, the city’s low-lying areas get inundated.”

“Is this the smart city we are talking about?” questioned Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla. “By the time the list is prepared, the monsoon will be over.”

Babla said the MC was formed more than two decades back, but it has not yet found a solution to waterlogging during monsoons. “Why did they (MC officials) not do their homework?” he said.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor Bharat Kumar said: “It is unfortunate that the MC spent more than ₹1.25 crore on cleaning the road gullies, but the situation has worsened in colonies and southern sectors.” Also, after clean the gullies, the refuse is left there and again enters the drains when it rains, he said.

First Published: Aug 01, 2017 14:33 IST