TIME to FIX DELHI`s WATERLOGGING

Since last fifty years, every time in July,when rains arrive in Delhi, the newspapers report about the mess, rains create in this capital city!

This year is no exception. I subscribe to The Hindustan Times. Today ie 14th July,20i8, there is a report on page 2 with the title` `Why rains lead to same mess in Delhi every year`.It states`just two hours of downpour on Friday is all it took for Delhi to go Mumbai`s way,this monsoon.It again exposed the inadequacies of the city`s drainage system & washed away the tall claims of civic agencies as road after road went under water` Then, the report elaborates about the state of inundation on 45 major roads of the city resulting in traffic snarls,waterlogging & huge discomfort to the commuters.

It then reasons out the main reasons for this malaise.These as per the news report are, poor infrastructure as doled out by some so called experts in drainage ,bad design,inadequate de-silting of drains & overflowing of sewer everytime it rained?!The experts have opined that there was urgent need for storm water drains to remain free of sewage & solid waste.Inadequacy of desilting of drains,choked bell-mouths,badly designed slip roads,inadequate slopes had been cited other reasons. There is also mention of 44 big drains missing out of 201 drains,which carry rain water to the Yamuna?!! Some RWAs representatives opined that some of the missing drains have been filled up to build shops,houses & parking lots!

Lack of co-ordination among various concerned agencies has been cited another reason for this BIG mess.,

Picture of a bus almost drowned under Shiva ji Bridge with two more pictures of sever waterlogging in the years 1993,2010 are splashed on the same page! Ruing comments of some of the ex councillors are also printed!

Well, I have described the above state of affairs to highlight how carelessly various concerned authoriites who have to effectively & SUSTAINABLY deal with the waterlogging situation in Delhi, are going about with their assigned jobs.

IT is SADDENING to say the least.

If various things need fixing,it is the concerned departments-civic bodies, PWDs, anti-flood agencies,who have to fix the same.

Here,they do not need any directions from the CM,LG,Home Ministry , PMO or the Courts. Why they are not to able to remedy the situation,which is worsening every year! If there are any constraints,why do not they spell it out?

Besides,there are professional Associations viz Indian Roads Congress,Indian Buildings Congress, Institute of Town Planners,Institute of Engineers,IIT Delhi, Central Road Research Institutes & host of leading national/international consultants

based in Delhi. Why, they do not address these water-logging problems of the city & render professional help to the concerned agencies instead of mainly organising seminars /discussions,etc etc, day in day out!

Of what use are these academic exercises,if the ground realities keep worsening year in year out!!?

It is time to give serious thoughts to find sustainable & actionable solutions.

The media need to do more? Not,simply reporting but persisting to nudge the concerned agencies to find/ implement solutions.

There is also need to find out reasons for apathy on the part of the concerned authorities. As per my personal experience, even in the local bodies,PWDS etc, some ethical engineers who want to implement proper measures are cold shouldered for reasons which the media & the PMO/LG/CM office/Vigilance Departments need to find out & take adequate remedial measures.

It is IMPERATIVE in the interest of Delhi Citizens & for the better image of our national capital

Vijay K. Saluja
Director
Giraffe Heroes India
www.giraffe.org/global/india
Former Chief Engineer,New Delhi Municipal Council
Past President,IIT Delhi Alumni Association

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