Heavy rains cause massive waterlogging in Delhi, cripple traffic

New Delhi, Aug 21 (PTI):
Record rains lashed the national capital on Saturday, crippling the traffic movement and causing heavy waterlogging in many parts of the city, with places like Minto Bridge, Rajghat, Connaught Place, and ITO being inundated after intense rains.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said Delhi recorded 139 mm of rainfall, the highest one-day rain for August in at least 13 years.
It has issued an ‘orange’ alert, a warning for extremely bad weather with the potential of disruption in commute with road and drain closures and interruption of power supply, for the city.
Public Works Department (PWD) officials said 316 complaints of waterlogging were received at the control room till 4.30 pm on Saturday. The officials said that the field staff was on the ground to address waterlogging complaints on priority basis.
According to data from the three civic bodies, at least 14 incidents of tree felling were reported in the city.
Commuters had a harrowing experience travelling from one place to another as vehicles crawled on important stretches. People were also seen wading through waterlogged streets in different areas of the national capital.
Stretches that witnessed jams include ITO, Dhaula Kuan, Mehram Nagar underpass near the airport, Vikas Marg, Mathura Road, Ring Road, Mukarba Chowk, Rohtak Road near Peeragarhi, Connaught Place, Barakhamba Road and Bhairon Marg.
Narrating his tale of traffic woe, a commuter, Vikas Tyagi, said that it took him over four hours to reach Burari from Hapur due to extensive waterlogging on the city streets.
“It is a nightmare to get stuck in a traffic jam. Today’s (Saturday) rains literally crippled the traffic movement in the city as almost every street was clogged.
Even the tributary roads of key stretches were jammed. Usually, it is two hours drive between Hapur and Burari but today I reached home in four hours,” Tyagi lamented.
Due to the waterlogging, the Delhi Traffic Police in the morning closed several crucial underpasses and traffic moved at a snail’s pace at many stretches. The traffic police took to Twitter to inform commuters about road closures.
“Traffic movement on Minto Bridge (both carriageways) has been closed due to waterlogging. Please avoid (the) stretch,” the traffic police said in a tweet.
Hours later, it informed people that normal traffic movement had been restored at the Minto Bridge underpass.
Last month, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that a “world-class drainage system” would be developed across the national capital.
He had said drainage systems like the one at Minto Road would be replicated across Delhi and drains and sewers would be de-silted regularly.
A senior PWD official said that the main reason behind the flooding of the Minto Road underpass was overflow of a Delhi Jal Board (DJB) sewer line along with a “very high intensity’ rain.
“Very high intensity and record rains occurred on Saturday. which triggered overflow of a DJB sewer line near DDU Marg. This resulted waterlogging in the Minto Road underpass. We have all the system in place so traffic was stopped immediately and water was pumped out,’ the official said.
He added that the underpass was opened for traffic in three hours.
On Saturday, the traffic police said that underpasses at Azad Market in central Delhi and Azadpur in north Delhi had been closed for traffic, while vehicular movement was affected at Moolchand and Pul Prahladpur underpasses in south Delhi due to waterlogging.

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