Even as the first monsoon showers on Thursday brought respite from the excessive heat, parts of the capital witnessed gridlock and gridlock that kept traffic personnel and civic agency officials busy throughout of the day.
Traffic police said it was mainly underpasses that were submerged after heavy rain was recorded on Wednesday morning. Foremost among the underpasses where traffic had to be stopped was Pul Prahladpur in southeast Delhi. However, they added that the Ashram’s recently opened underpass and causeway under the Minto Bridge remained open to traffic throughout the day.
Delhi received 116.6mm of rain between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
According to officials, complaints of waterlogging have been received from the section of Ring Road between Dhaula Kuan and AIIMS, ITO, Barapullah Corridor near AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital, Mehrauli-Badarpur (MB) Road, Sadar Bazar, underpass from Zakhira to Inderlok, Grand Trunk (GT) Road between Apsara Border and Anand Vihar, Aurobindo Marg and spans Delhi-Meerut highway.
Officials from the Public Works Department (PWD) said that by the evening most sections had been cleared.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the PWD portfolio, held a meeting with officials on Thursday evening to provide an update on the situation.
Officials who attended the meeting said six of the seven most waterlogged areas had not reported flooding.
“Thursday, the first day of the onset of the monsoon in Delhi, the whole city received heavy rain for hours. But thanks to the vigilance of the officials of the PWD, MCD, Irrigation and Flood Control Department and Revenue Department, and the measures taken to deal with the problem of waterlogging over the past year, the people of Delhi did not face any problems in most places. said Sisodia.
He also asked PWD officials to triple the number of pumps in Pul Prahladpur in two days.
The Pul Prahladpur railway underpass, which floods every year during the monsoon and has claimed two lives since July 2021, was closed for vehicle traffic on both carriageways shortly after the rains started on Thursday morning. The closure of the underpass, between 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., caused traffic jams on the adjoining roads between Mehrauli and Badarpur. Traffic was restored to the section after 6:30 p.m., traffic officials said.
According to traffic police data, 33 calls related to road flooding were received from across the city between 8:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
“In addition, 68 calls regarding traffic jams were also received. Nearly 90% of our staff, including senior officials, were on the streets to combat traffic jams, congestion problems and regulate the flow of traffic. We have also frequently posted notices and updates regarding congestion and traffic jams on our social media,” said Additional Police Commissioner (Traffic) Shibesh Singh.
Six calls related to falling/uprooting trees were also received, city officials and people with disabilities said. Part of an old building has collapsed on a narrow street in the Paharganj district of central Delhi. However, no injuries were reported. Adjacent homes were evacuated during the debris clearing operation.
According to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) monsoon report on Thursday, the maximum waterlogging complaints came from the Shahdara (southern) zone which includes areas east of Delhi, and the central which encompasses the south and central areas of Delhi.
Some social media users have also posted photos claiming the Pragati Maidan tunnel is clogged. However, HT could not verify the image. When questioned, a senior Delhi traffic police officer said no complaints had been received from the area. A PWD official said, “Due to the slope and gradient, if it rains, the water will flow inwards, but the pumps installed drain the water quickly and there has been no traffic disruption.
On June 8, Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reviewed measures to be taken to tackle waterlogging during the monsoon and ordered to initiate long-term measures. term to solve the annual problem. Long-term measures included accelerating work on a new drainage plan for the city and improving drains and roads in the capital.