On a day the Capital received the season’s heaviest rain and traffic was thrown out of gear due to water-logging, the Delhi High Court pulled up the three municipal bodies on Tuesday for not taking concrete steps to deal with the poor drainage system.
A Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice S. K. Kaul and Justice Vipin Sanghi scolded the three local bodies -- East Delhi Municipal Corporation, North Delhi Municipal Corporation and South Delhi Municipal Corporation -- when their counsel submitted that the drains in their respective areas were very old which were coming in the way of draining of rain water fast and smoothly.
Counsel for the three bodies further submitted that a long-term planning was already in the works to overhaul the outdated drainage system in the Capital.
Thereupon, the Bench said that people wanted immediate relief from this woe.
What had you been doing in these past years? the Bench asked.
“Year after year, the problem of water-logging occurs. You cannot ask citizens to wait for implementation of your long-term plan,’’ the Bench observed.
The Bench made these observations while hearing a contempt of court petition by non-government organisation Nyaya Bhoomi seeking initiation of contempt against officials of the civic bodies for their alleged violation of the July 11 order of the Court asking them to file status reports about the steps they had taken for de-silting drains to prevent water-logging.
The Court had on that date directed the civic bodies to file status reports within a fortnight after taking measures to desilt drains.
There is another petition pending before the Court by an advocate on the issue. Advocate Gaurav Bansal has alleged that the civic bodies normally did not make advance preparations for dealing with the problem which had been a recurrent feature in the Capital.
He said that according to the information provided to him by the Public Works Department of the Delhi Government on an application under the Right to Information Act, there were as many as 41 identified water-logging prone spots in the city.
South Extension, Moolchand underpass, Ashram Chowk, Dhaula Kuan underpass, ISBT Kashmiri Gate exit, Stadium Gate near Siri Fort Road and Ring Road bypass were some of the places of the 41 identified spots where water logged during the rainy season due to the faulty drainage system and deposit of silt into the drains, the petitioner submitted.
The matter will next come up for hearing on August 28 when the civic bodies have been directed to submit maps of the city’s drainage system.