DPCC president Devender Yadav and Delhi BJP chief Virendra Sachdeva.
DPCC president Devender Yadav and Delhi BJP chief Virendra Sachdeva.

Congress, BJP target Delhi government over flooding

Congress demands compensation of Rs 1 crore for families of rain victims; BJP blames AAP incompetence; PWD minister and Mayor review city drainage

NEW DELHI: Delhi Pradesh Congress on Monday demanded the compensation amount for the lives lost in rain-related accidents be increased to Rs 1 crore.

Calling the ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh announced by the city government “too little,” Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) chief Devender Yadav on Monday said the compensation should be at par with amount given to those who died during the Covid pandemic.

On the other hand, Delhi BJP squarely blamed the AAP-led Delhi government for the severe waterlogging in the national capital following heavy rainfall a few days back.

The Congress remark came a day after the Delhi government announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of those who lost their lives following the “extreme rainfall” in the city on June 28.

“The compensation amount announced by the Delhi government is too little. The amount should be increased to at least Rs 1 crore per family, as had been done in the case of COVID-19 deaths while on duty,” the DPCC chief said.

Taking a jibe at water minister Atishi, Yadav said, “Atishi, who sat on a meaningless dharna demanding more water from the Haryana government when the whole of Delhi was thirsting for potable water, should take strong steps to prevent such deaths.”

Yadav also accused the AAP government of hiding actual death figures in rain-related incidents.

“The Delhi government has hidden the actual death figures due to drowning. It has overlooked the figures tallied by the Delhi Police and hospitals to cover up its failures and inaction, just like it had during the COVID-19 pandemic. Death figures were hidden by both the BJP-led Centre and the Kejriwal-led Delhi government during COVID,” Yadav alleged.

He further said, “The deaths due to the downpour were actually murders. So many innocent people would not have lost their lives had the Delhi government made timely preparations to tackle monsoon mishaps like drowning accidents and flooding of underpasses.”

Result of incompetence

Meanwhile, Delhi BJP chief Virendra Sachdeva attacked the AAP government over the waterlogging situation in the city. “The primary reason for Delhi’s flooding on June 28 was the Kejriwal government’s failure to operate water drainage pumps. If it rains again today, Delhi will be flooded again,” Sachdeva said in a presser.

Delhi was battered with heavy rains followed by severe waterlogging on June 28 that led to flood-like situations in parts of the city, which were inundated in chest-deep water.

The BJP chief said the AAP government’s incompetence is responsible for both the scarcity of drinking water and flooding during the rains.

“Delhi has 287 identified dangerous waterlogging spots, and on June 28, more than 250 of these locations had non-functional pumps. On June 28, out of 696 permanent water drainage pumps installed by the Public Works Department in Delhi, over 400 were not operational. According to our information, more than 100 pumps were non-functional because they did not have diesel,” he said.

Additionally, Sachdeva mentioned, 465 pumps are installed in Delhi by the Delhi Jal Board, the Flood Department, and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, and most of these are still not working. “Proof of this is that two days after the flooding, minister Atishi herself visited the pumping station at Minto Road Bridge, and even then, 3 out of 8 pumps were not operational,” he said.

Sachdeva said that every year during the monsoon, around 1300 additional temporary water drainage pumps are rented and installed, but this year not a single one has been installed. “The excuse of not being able to install additional drainage pumps due to the elections is weak,” he said.

The New Indian Express