Water,Water Everywhere…Missed Deadlines,Paucity Of Funds Clogging City Roads

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SRINAGAR — Most areas here were Thursday inundated due to rainfall with officials blaming missed deadlines to fix the city’s faulty drainage system owing to paucity of funds for the mess.

The rains caused severe waterlogging in the most parts of the city resulting in inconvenience to the public.

The rains started early Thursday morning, bringing much needed relief from the sweltering heat wave from last few days.  However, as the rain continued for several hours, it brought about chaos and made the commute to work a nightmare.

Report said rainwater pools of different sizes were formed on the roads in different places as drainage system is mostly clogged.

Pedestrians complained about waterlogging in Lal Chowk, the commercial hub of the Valley as many vehicles splashed them with muddy water. At several places, the pedestrians had to wade through ankle-height water, reports added. 

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

The problem was compounded by the defunct drainage system in various areas. The choked drains, according to locals led to the waterlogging.  

According to reports, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation has missed the deadlines of completing various drainage projects, despite Rs 50 crore funding.

The scheme covers drainage projects of various area like Shalteng (19430 mtr) at a cost of 14.77 Crore, Lal Chowk (5786 mtr) at cost of Rs 9.96, Indra Nagar (6820 mtr) at a cost of Rs 9.83 crore, Gangroh (5680 mtr) at Rs 8.80 crore, and Mallabagh (37,656 mtr). The deadline for most projects was Oct 2018.

Executive Engineer, SMC Drainage wing, Aazad Ahmad Beigh said that they couldn’t complete the drainage project in the city due to lack of funds.

 “We require 1335 kilometers of drainage in the city but we could complete only 623 and 712 is yet to be completed and for that we need at least Rs 1100 crores,” Aazad said.

Due to court stay, he said, SMC couldn’t complete the Lal Chowk de-watering project on time which results in massive water-logging in the area.

 “Now we have started working on it and it will take us just a month to complete it. Then there would be no waterlogging,” he said.

He further said that the water-logging happens in metropolitan cities too. “When the water goes beyond drainage capacity, it will happen,” he said. 

The SMC has already missed a deadline for completion of the de-watering station in Lal Chowk in June 2017.

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 the restoration of the 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.

Junaid Mattoo, Mayor of Srinagar, in a series of tweets blamed paucity of funds for the drainage system.

 “Waterlogging in the city is a consequence of decades of neglect and we can’t possibly expect it to resolve within two hours while it’s raining. The SMC mobilization is optimal and our Dewatering Units are fire fighting to the best of their capacity. We need MAJOR drainage funding!” he tweeted

In the second tweet he blamed people for the flood like situation.  “Introspection!” he said. 


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