Civic bodies step up measures as Delhi awaits monsoon winds

Skymet, a private weather agency, too predicted that monsoon winds are likely to arrive in Delhi by the end of this week, easing the sultry conditions.
The NDMC has identified five critical areas prone to water stagnation
The NDMC has identified five critical areas prone to water stagnation(Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: Last year’s Delhi deluge still fresh in our minds, civic bodies in the capital city are gearing up to address waterlogging issues ahead of the onset of monsoon rains, expected to arrive by the end of the month.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast heavy to very heavy rain in the national capital over the weekend, thus bringing relief from the prolonged periods of intense heatwave that prevailed in the city. Skymet, a private weather agency, too predicted that monsoon winds are likely to arrive in Delhi by the end of this week, easing the sultry conditions.

The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has established six control rooms equipped with over 160 pumps to prevent waterlogging in Lutyens’ Delhi. Officials have installed CCTV cameras at all waterlogging hotspots, with the feed monitored at the Integrated Command Control Centre at Palika Kendra.

The NDMC has identified five critical areas prone to water stagnation: Africa Avenue, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Panchkuian Road, Purana Quila Road, and Lodhi Estate, based on feedback from the public and traffic police. “Drainage control rooms have been set up at Sangli Mess, Khan Market, Netaji Nagar, Malcha Marg, Mandir Marg, and Connaught Place,” an official stated, adding. “These will be manned by senior officers and will function round the clock to address waterlogging complaints.”

The NDMC has 99 permanent pumps and 62 temporary pumps for draining water. The agency is also focusing on desilting the drainage system, aiming to complete the task by June 30. The NDMC area has 14 drainage systems streching 270.82 km.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has completed almost 95% of its desilting work and targeting completion by June 30, an official said. The MCD manages 20,884 drains under four feet deep and 713 deeper drains across its 12 zones. The agency plans to remove 1,27,368 metric tons of silt in two phases by January 2025, disposing of the silt at landfill sites in Bhalswa, Okhla, and Ghazipur. The MCD operates 72 permanent pumping stations and 465 portable pumps for rainwater drainage.

The Public Works Department (PWD) has repaired its permanent pumps and procured temporary pumps to manage water drainage. “The Delhi Traffic Police identified 308 locations that experienced waterlogging last year, with 214 under the PWD. Around 40 of these locations required engineering interventions, while others needed maintenance like cleaning bellmouths and removing debris,” the official added. The department will also deploy maintenance vans and teams during the monsoon.

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