Heavy showers ex­pose city's crum­bling in­fra­struc­ture

Faulty sewer sys­tem, ab­sence of proper drainage chan­nels, de­lay in de­silt­ing and un­planned ex­pan­sion con­trib­ute to the mess

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Prabhu Raz­dan

The in­ces­sant rains last week not just threw nor­mal life out of gear in Farid­abad, but it also ex­posed the city’s col­laps­ing in­fra­struc­ture. The rains caused mas­sive wa­ter­log­ging on a num­ber of roads due to which ve­hic­u­lar move­ment re­mained badly af­fected in ar­eas in­clud­ing Ajrondha Chowk, Sec­tor 21B, Sec­tor 21D, Par­var­tiya Colony, Neigh­bour­hood Five ( NH5), Neigh­bour­hood Three (NH3), Old Farid­abad, Neigh­bor­hood One (NH1), Sec­tor 8, Bal­lab­garh mak­ing life ex­tremely dif­fi­cult for the res­i­dents.

At some places like Dabua colony, Par­var­tiya Colony, Sec­tor 8, NH5 area, the mar­kets and res­i­den­tial colonies re­mained badly wa­ter­logged lead­ing to end­less traf­fic jams.

“The city wit­nessed huge rain­fall due to which the en­tire area was sub­merged in wa­ter which meant com­mut­ing was a Her­culean task. I kept wait­ing for hours for au­torick­shaws to reach of­fice, but not a sin­gle au­torick­shaw was seen due to the mess cre­ated by the rains,” said Monu Thakur, a res­i­dent.

As Farid­abad and its sur­round­ing ar­eas had been wit­ness­ing spo­radic showers and strong winds, the of­fi­cials were taken off guard and didn’t know how to deal with the un­ex­pected heavy showers. When heavy rains lashed the city for two days, elec­tric polls in some ar­eas were up­rooted due to which elec­tric­ity re­mained suspended for 10 to 12 hours at a stretch.

"I had to drop my brother at a bus stop on Su­ra­jkund road, but t he main road l ead­ing t o Su­ra­jkund road was in­un­dated with rain wa­ter," said Vi­jay Ku­mar, a res­i­dent.

In the Palla area on Farid­abadBadarpur bor­der, the res­i­dents had the same hor­ror story to nar­rate. “There were traf­fic snarls and wa­ter­log­ging at Se­hat­pur road, Chetan Mar­ket road, Saraswati colony and all this con­tin­ued for good three days. It was im­pos­si­ble for us to move out of our houses,” said Nitin Ku­mar, an­other res­i­dent.

How­ever, clogged drains re­main a ma­jor cause be­hind wa­ter­log­ging caus­ing block­ades all over the city. And as the city is ex­pand­ing, the civic agen­cies are not at all both­ered about up­grad­ing the drainage sys­tem. But the of­fi­cials have a dif­fer­ent say on the is­sue.

“The res­i­dents are equally to be blamed for the sit­u­a­tion. While we agree that the drainage sys­tem has not been laid ac­cord­ing to a proper plan, peo­ple have to be care­ful, too, as we find a lot of house­hold items dur­ing the clean­ing of the sewer lines, which cause ob­struc­tion in the smooth flow of sewer,” said a Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion of Farid­abad (MCF) of­fi­cial on con­di­tion of anonymity.

En­croach­ments are cited to be an­other rea­son be­hind wa­ter­log­ging in the city. “The en­croach­ment on roads and in mar­ket ar­eas is a regular fea­ture here and the civic au­thor­i­ties do ini­ti­ate sym­bolic anti-en­croach­ment drives, but the sit­u­a­tion doesn’t re­ally change,” said Shyamvir Singh, a lo­cal res­i­dent.

Even while lay­ing con­crete ce­ment roads, the ex­perts said, ex­tra care needs to be taken to en­sure smooth pas­sage of rain wa­ter. “The gov­ern­ment should set up a proper drainage sys­tem in the city and I hope the civic agen­cies take up this is­sue with the gov­ern­ment on pri­or­ity ba­sis and get funds sanc­tioned specif­i­cally for this pur­pose,” said Yo­gesh Dhin­gra, cor­po­ra­tor, Ward num­ber 15.

“The designing of Neigh­bour­hood One ( NH1), Neigh­bor­hood Two ( NH2), Neigh­bour­hood Three (NH3) and even Neigh­bour­hood Four (NH4) was done decades ago with proper plan­ning, but with the pas­sage of time, ram­pant unau­tho­rised con­struc­tion led to this huge mess,” said a res­i­dent.

“The sit­u­a­tion is even worse in some of the Haryana Ur­ban Devel­op­ment Author­ity (HUDA) res­i­den­tial sec­tors. Rain wa­ter in Sec­tor 21 B, con­sid­ered to be posh lo­cal­ity, cre­ates mess on the roads be­cause of the faulty drainage sys­tem,” said Pu­ran Ku­mar, a res­i­dent.

The of­fi­cials said that MCF, the main civic agency in Farid­abad, faces fi­nan­cial crunch which makes it dif­fi­cult for the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s day to day func­tion­ing. “The only source of in­come is the house tax. There­fore, most of the pay­ments are de­layed to con­trac- tors who are en­trusted spe­cific jobs,” said an of­fi­cial.

Se­nior civic of­fi­cials ac­com­pa­nied by New Industrial Town­ship (NIT) MLA Nagin­der Bhadana re­cently sur­veyed many wa­ter­logged ar­eas. “Rain wa­ter could have eas­ily flown into Gochi drain, but due to some ob­struc­tion in the sys­tem, the wa­ter got stuck lead­ing to clog­ging at some places in the NIT area. I per­son­ally vis­ited the area with the lo­cal leg­is­la­tor to iden­tify the block­ades and bot­tle­necks and we are try­ing to set the sys­tem right,” said DR Ya­dav, chief en­gi­neer, Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion of Farid­abad. He added that pumps were pressed into ser­vice to re­move rain wa­ter at many places.

Some of­fi­cials also blame po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence that hin- ders the smooth func­tion­ing of the civic agency. The of­fi­cials feel help­less when they have to fol­low the di­rec­tions of pow­er­ful po­lit­i­cal fig­ures even if they in­vite fu­ture civic prob­lems. Un­less ac­count­abil­ity on the part of the of­fi­cials is fixed, rules are not fol­lowed and public too is made aware about their du­ties be­sides mak­ing funds avail­able for im­prov­ing the in­fra­struc­ture, noth­ing is go­ing to change, claimed of­fi­cials.

“We have de­tected some prob­lems which cause wa­ter­log­ging dur­ing rainy sea­son. Cur­rently, we are tak­ing up as short term mea­sures, but we are also mak­ing long terms plans si­mul­ta­ne­ously,” said Ashok Ku­mar Sharma, the newly ap­pointed MCF com­mis­sioner.

Res­i­dents claim ram­pant unau­tho­rised con­struc­tion has led to this mess.

En­croach­ments and clogged drains are the ma­jor rea­sons be­hind wa­ter­log­ging in the city.

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