Floods put spot­light on ne­glect of Isipingo Rail

The Mercury - - OPINION -

GIVEN the re­cent flood­ing of the Isipingo Rail CBD/N2 old air­port a few points emerge.

For many Isipingo res­i­dents this has been more dev­as­tat­ing than the 1987 floods.

The flood­ing of the N2 can be traced to pos­si­bly the ca­pac­ity con­straints on the Phila Nd­wandwe Road (Isipingo Rail and not in Um­lazi – bad move hav­ing such street names so close) and the Rail­way bridge which needs to be extended.

The river will be called Rail River.

To coun­cil’s credit, de­silt­ing was un­der way in Prospec­ton on a de­cent scale.

On the Phila Nd­wandwe bridge it seems over the years a con­crete ledge was built di­rectly over the bridge out­let.

The ef­fect of this was the damming up of wa­ter in the Bally Road area. The sec­ond was the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of de­bris un­der the rail­way bridge and, given its height over the shops, this re­sulted in the shops be­ing flooded un­til the bank burst and this must have caused the wa­ter to rush and even­tu­ally flood the N2.

There was al­most a “tsunami” ef­fect, hence most peo­ple get­ting caught off-guard.

In the past the pleas of many Isipingo Rail traders over the drainage is­sues have been ig­nored – and are still be­ing ig­nored.

It seems Isipingo Rail was the stepchild of Toti and now eThek­wini un­til this flood which caused pro­duc­tion to stop at Toy­ota, blocked the N2 and made the South Coast rail­way line dys­func­tional.

This has af­fected Toy­ota’s ship de­liv­er­ies and the ce­ment plants on the lower south coast.

Worst-hit are the com­muters who now have to use much more ex­pen­sive taxis and buses.

Long term, this river needs to be linked with the Um­laas Canal via the old air­port and, short term, an ex­ten­sion of the rail­way bridge, clear­ing up of the block­ages/ con­crete bar­rier on the Phila Nd­wandwe Bridge and good house­keep­ing should avoid a re­peat.

MUHAM­MAD OMAR Dur­ban North

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