Water-logging Brings City To Its Knees

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‘Problem compounds by defunct drainage system’

SRINAGAR — Despite tall claims by the government, few hours of rainfall Tuesday morning once again exposed the poor drainage system in the capital city.

The rains caused severe water logging in the most parts of the city resulting in inconveniences to public.

According to reports, several roads, by-lanes of the city have been under water, causing massive traffic jams. “It was difficult for the commuters to walk on various city roads even the commercial hub Lal Chowk, Residency Road and MA Road here literally remained deluged,”

At some busy and important junctions including Regal Chowk, the pedestrians preferred to hire auto-rickshaw to cross the roads. Most of public transport went off the roads due to water logging which hampered the smooth movement of traffic.

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The problem was compounded by defunct drainage system in various areas. The choked drains, according to locals led to water logging in various city localities.

There was heavy water logging at Magarmal Bagh, Samandar Bagh, Noorbagh and Narwara and other parts of the city.

Massive encroachments along the banks of Khush-hal Sar and accumulation of silt and garbage dumped by SMC in the once pristine lake also aggravated the problem. Scores of localities along Ali Jan Road and Eidgah-Hawal Road including Firdous Colony, Khywon and Usmanya Colony were inundated after the sudden rise in waters  of Khush-hal Sar.

“In Srinagar city, only 37 percent areas have drainage network but rest of the areas are vulnerable to water logging. But our officials are on the job to drain out water in all areas,” an SMC official said.

Sources said that around 500 drainage schemes were started over the years in Srinagar, of which only less than 50 per cent could be completed due to paucity of funds.

“The state government had taken up hundreds of drainage schemes in Kashmir over the years. Most of them could not be completed due to lack of funds and coordination” between various departments. The Roads and Buildings Department has been constructing roads in various areas without ensuring drainage system. The restoration of drainage system and road macadamization should have been done simultaneously,” the official said wishing not to be named.

The drainage system in the valley, especially in Srinagar city, was badly hit during the 2014 floods. The Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDD) has not been able to restore it permanently. However, the World Bank had agreed to provide funds for restoration of drainage system of the Srinagar city.

“The World Bank had agreed to provide funds for 42 dewatering stations of Srinagar city,” an official of the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDD) said.

According to a statement from Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) “Dewatering exercise which was personally being monitored by Commissioner SMC Riyaz Ahmed Wani was being carried out in inundated areas including Hari Singh High Street, Lal Chowk, Batamaloo,  Jehangir Chowk and Rajbagh.”

 “Commissioner SMC along with the entire concerned staff has personally visited the dewatering stations and the inundated areas where SMC workers were on job to dewater the inundated areas,” the spokesperson added.

Director MeT Sonam Lotus said that most parts of Jammu and Kashmir region were lashed by showers since Tuesday morning. “There is significant improvement in weather. A couple of hour’s rain after a week of dry weather won’t led to flood,” he said.

Sonam Lotus said that there will be occasional rainfall in coming week.

DC Takes Stock Of Dewatering Measures In City

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr Syed Abid Rasheed, Tuesday visited various parts of the Srinagar city to personally take stock of the dewatering measures launched by the administration in inundated areas following heavy downpour.

Dr Abid instructed the concerned departments to intensify their efforts and ensure quickest possible draining-out of water from all inundated areas including clearance of interior roads and lanes.

He also visited various Old City areas including Babademb, Kawdara, Saraf Kadal, Rajouri Kadal, Kadi Kadal and Rainawari and took stock of water-logging situation and dewatering efforts underway in these areas.

The DC was informed by the concerned authorities that besides all dewatering stations having been made functional, mobile pumping stations and fire pumps and tenders have also been pressed into service for dewatering efforts at various areas in the City. The general public in Srinagar have been asked to report dewatering requirements at helpline number: 7051112345.

Senior officers from all concerned departments accompanied the DC during his visit.

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