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City thirsts for water-logging solution, says HC

Staff Reporter
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Orders the three Municipal Corporations to clean stormwater drains within a week to prevent a repeat of last week’s deluge

Students wading through rainwater to board a bus during a heavy shower in New Delhi last week.- Photo: PTI
Students wading through rainwater to board a bus during a heavy shower in New Delhi last week.- Photo: PTI

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Delhi Government, the New Delhi Municipal Council and the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi to clean the stormwater drains within a week to prevent a repeat of last week’s water-logging in the Capital.

A Division Bench of the Court comprising Acting Chief Justice B. D. Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru gave this direction while hearing public interest litigations pending before it for the past two years. The PILs had drawn the Court’s attention to the abject failure of the civic bodies to free the city of the water-logging woes which beset it during the monsoon every year without fail.

The Court had pulled up the civic bodies last year too for not putting in place a fool-proof mechanism to ensure smooth draining out of rainwater in the Capital when a heavy downpour had caused huge traffic jams.

It was the repeat of the Court’s anger on Wednesday as well, when the Bench said that it came across the same scene every year because of the civic bodies’ negligence.

Last weekend’s heavy downpour had led to rainwater gushing into the ground floor offices and residences in the New Delhi area as well. When the drainage system in Lutyens’ zone is so ineffective, the condition in other areas would be horrible, the Bench said.

The Bench fixed the deadline for de-silting of drains when the Urban Development and the Public Works Departments of the Delhi Government, NDMC, the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi and Delhi Jal Board gave an assurance to do the job on a war-footing within a week.

The Bench also said that if the Capital faced water-logging next time during rain, the officials concerned would be made to explain it.

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