Rain check: Chandigarh periphery in deep waters
ZIRAKPUR AT SEA WHEN IT RAINS
Haphazard construction and lack of rainwater drainage system are the bane of Zirakpur. Navigating the township after a heavy spell of rain is a tricky affair as its roads turn into a rivulets. Vehicles sputter to a halt and the ensuing traffic jam on the highway often lasts for two to three hours.
This year Zirakpur earmarked a budget of Rs 33 lakh for monsoon preparedness. But little has been done to replace or repair the narrow sewage lines and clean the garbage strewn all around. The residents complain that the sewage system is old and needs to be upgraded to keep pace with the growing population.
There is no separate arrangement for the disposal of rain water. Experts blame the waterlogging on the blocked storm water drainage as the natural incline of Zirakpur is such that the water drains off after a while if there are no blockages. The township’s water drains into the Singh choe nullah that falls into Sukhna Choe, which meets the Ghaggar river. Experts say excessive laying of paver blocks and incomplete construction work are also causing water to accumulate.
How to fix it
1. Baltana: Inundated roads with water getting into cars is a common sight at Baltana during rains. Here too, the haphazard construction has rendered the road gullies ineffective. One spell of rain and the water starts forming puddles on the low-lying roads. This is especially true of Wadhwa Nagar where many houses also get flooded. Storm water drainage pipelines with the capacity to drain out more water. Roads should also be widened.
2. Patiala-Zirakpur Road near Lucky Dhaba: This low-lying stretch of road turns into a water hazard for commuters every time it rains. Experts blame it on the topography of the area and the National Highways Authority of India, which has constructed drains at a higher level than the roads. The low-lying internal streets add to the problem. Increase the capacity of storm drainage pipes, and rectify the level of the drains
3. VIP road a misnomer: This road turns into a pool of water due to poor drainage system. Even hours after the rain stops, the road remains submerged and the traffic chaos lasts for hours. Officials claim they have improved the situation but the entry to the VIP road remains problematic. The storm lines have already been changed but their capacity should be augmented with an eye on the future.
KHARAR UNPLANNED AND MESSY
The monsoon will again be messy in Kharar this year, thanks to the unplanned colonies, and the habit of dumping garbage in drains that are too old to even drain rainwater.
Located on the National Highway 21, Kharar has seen a boom in real estate over the last 10 years with more than 100 colonies getting GMADA’s approval. Unfortunately, the authorities failed to check the level of roads while clearing the plans, thus obstructing the natural flow of water.
With rains here, the municipal council has deployed 243 safai karmacharis to clean the road gullies. In monsoon, the police often hire pumps to clear the stagnant water on the road to Chandigarh.
HS Mavi, president of the Panchayat Union, Punjab, said lack of drainage also affects local schools such as Government Elementary School, Jhungian, Government School, Jandpur, Desumajra, and Badala, which have to be closed due to flooding.
Though Kharar’s rainwater can be drained naturally through the Jayanti Ki Rao rivulet, the authorities haven’t tried to do it.
How to fix it
1. Unplanned construction:Kharar has more than 100 colonies besides residences, which are obstructing the natural flow of water. Introduce rainwater harvesting in the colonies and lay a rainwater drainage sytem.
2. Ongoing construction on the highway: There are no drains on the sides, leaving the road clogged with water. Build drains on the roadsides. Ensure the slope of road helps to drain water
3. Encroachments: The choes and rivulets passing through the area have been choked by encroachments. Desilt the choes and remove all encroachments.
NAYAGAON NEW MC, OLD PROBLEMS
Almost a year after it was notified as a Municipal Council, Nayagaon has no sewerage or storm water drainage system. Nor does it have any budget for the repair of roads. Above all, half the roads or gullies have neither been carpeted or repaired in past two years.
MC officials say half the structures in the town are illegal. In less than a year, the MC has seen three executive officers (EO). The council is divided into five zones, with two zones covering 50% of the area. But the roads seem to be no one’s baby. EO Chetan Sharma says it’s because of the sewerage treatment plant , which has been hanging fire for a decade now. “Till the time we lay underground pipes for it, there is no point in laying and relaying the roads every year. Stagnating water destroys the bitumen,” said Sharma, adding that MC is laying inter-locking tiles wherever possible.
Rains also bring power cuts here. Manjeet S Kamboj, an RWA member said: “Transmission wires and telephone cables, etc go through the same poles, close to the houses. The power supply is cut for hours after rain.”
The trouble spots
1. Khuda Ali Sher road: The two-way road is encroached upon and has uneven kutcha patches on both sides. With no proper drainage, it gets waterlogged even after a minor shower.
2. Nada road: It was carpeted around five years back. No patch-work has been done since then. It will be difficult for residents to take this road during the rains.
3. Karora road: Not repaired for years, water stagnation will be a problem in the absence of any drains on this road.
(Inputs by Gagandeep Singh)
(Fourth of five-part series, Next: Monsoon maladies)