NEW DELHI: The Public Works Department (PWD) appears to have been bothered by waterlogging only on the heritage Minto Bridge this year. Other major and busy arterial routes, including the newly redevloped 1.3 km stretch of Chandni Chowk road, seem to have been left to the mercy of rains.
As a result, the city on Wednesday saw more than 50 busy routes getting heavily waterlogged for a second consequtive day, despite the PWD's claims of successful desilting before the onset of monsoon.
As per senior officials, the PWD completes inspections and submits a report by the end of June, before the beginning of monsoon. Last month, the PWD chief had asked some of the chief engineers and executive engineers to complete this, saying that monsoon will arrive soon.
Usually, Delhi experiences waterlogging during heavy spells of rain. But this year, normal showers have caused waterlogging. The traffic police recieved about 14 complaints between 11.52 am to 2.42 pm on Wednesday. Officials said the rain was heavy in parts of north and north-east Delhi, outer and outer north and west Delhi. South Delhi, too, saw traffic snarls for hours.
Waterlogging: PWD says it’s trying, result yet to be seen
In places like Mool Chand Flyover, Kalindi Kunj and Mahipalpur, the water cleared within an hour. But the situation remained unchanged in Pul Prahladpur. People were seen dragging two-wheelers through the water.
Major routes submerged were Azapur Underpass, Punjabi Bagh Road No 57, Pillar Number 450 on Nangloi to Mundka carriagway, Shakti Nagar, Barkhan to Savzi Mandi, AIIMS Flyover, Burari Petrol Pump, Bhajanpura Mazaar, Ring Road Timarpur, Pragati Maidan, Bhagwandas Road to Mathura Road crossing, Ashram Ring Road, Nehru Vihar Mod and Timarpur to Mall Road.
Officials said on condition of anonymity that such waterlogging at Azadpur Underpass was a first. "PWD is operating three pumps. Traffic staff is present and regulating traffic. Necessary diversions given from Muqarba chowk & Wazirpur T point. Pl avoid Azadpur underpass," tweeted the Additional CP (Traffic), Outer Range.
"Traffic jam and minimal waterlogging is usual. PWD pumped out the water as soon as complaints were received. These are busy roads and the capacity of the drains is low. Plus, there is solid waste from residential areas entering the main drainage and causing waterlogging," said an official.
Experts said desilting is not the only option. Delhi needs drainage upgrade. "PWD and MCD don’t do it properly. Plus, there is a need of overall upgrade of pipelines and drains. In many places, drainage capacity needs to be enhanced. Some places need additional drainage. This year, they took measures for Minto Bridge. The same is needed in other areas," said S Velmurugan, Senior Principal Scientist and former head, Traffic Engineering and Safety Division, Central Road Research Institute.