Governance

Kejriwal finally admits that he should have remodelled the Delhi drainage system years ago

A sudden downpour of rain on Tuesday blocked many roads due to waterlogging. The last proposal of a new system was drafted in 1976, but even that was not implemented.

The failure of the Kejriwal Government to revamp the basic drainage system of Delhi despite being in power for several years in coming to bite him back. 

Rain lashed many parts of the national capital on Tuesday morning, leading to waterlogging and traffic snarls in several areas of the city. According to Traffic Police and Public Works Department (PWD) officials, waterlogging was reported underneath AIIMS flyover, at Ring Road near Hyatt Hotel, both sides of Savitri flyover, Maharani Bagh, Dhaula Kuan to 11 Murti carriageway, Shahjahan Road, W-Point ITO, Lala Lajpat Rai Marg and Moolchand underpass, among others.

Now IITian Chief minister of Delhi has asked the Indian Institute of Technology to help him plan a new system of drainage to reduce the plight of the people of Delhi.

Drains in Delhi will have to undergo design changes following suggestions of an expert team from IIT-Delhi to ensure smooth flow of water during and after heavy rains, said chief minister Arvind Kejriwal after chairing a review meeting on Delhi Drainage Masterplan on Tuesday

“Today CM Arvind Kejriwal chaired a review meeting on Delhi’s drainage masterplan. Design changes will be introduced in drains following the recommendations of IIT. The focus will be to enable a smooth flow of water during and after heavy rains. Waterlogging issues be resolved,” said a tweet from the CM’s office after the meeting.

The meeting was attended by water minister Satyendar Jain, vice-chairperson of Delhi Jal Board Raghav Chadha and chief secretary Vijay Dev.

The review meeting was held three days after the national Capital was brought to its knees by six hours of rainfall, throwing traffic into disarray and inundating several key stretches and underpasses, exposing how badly it needs a comprehensive drainage plan as well as one to ensure that local drains are cleaned ahead of monsoon.

On July 19, Kejriwal announced that the Delhi administration will redesign the city’s drainage system and identify waterlogging hot spots so that area-specific interventions can be made to ensure the smooth flow of traffic. The announcement came the day a man drowned in the submerged Pul Prahladpur underpass — one of the perennial problem points — and at least 39 key road stretches were flooded after heavy rain.

The last drainage master plan was drafted by the Delhi administration in 1976. To be sure, Delhi was administered by a metropolitan council between 1966 and 1990. In 2016, the Delhi government commissioned a study of the city’s drainage system by IIT-Delhi. Following the study, a drainage master plan was compiled which also pointed out that the city had no single agency to manage and maintain drainage. However, the plan could not be implemented.

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