As monsoon approaches, AAP-BJP trade barbs over desilting of drains

Nearly 60,000 metric tonnes of silt has been removed from the drains, the MCD said on Sunday

Nearly 60,000 metric tonnes of silt has been removed from the drains, the MCD said on Sunday | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO


The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has failed to make preparations to de-silt the city’s drains in time, AAP alleged on Sunday. 

The reunified MCD came into being on Sunday, with the three municipal corporations — North, South and East — merging into a single entity with the notification in this regard being issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday.

AAP’s claims

Senior AAP leader and MCD-in-charge Durgesh Pathak said meteorologists have predicted that the monsoon season in Delhi will begin any time after June 5, however, the MCD has not even started cleaning the drains, 95% of which come under the municipality’s purview. 

“The BJP talks of bulldozers all day but where are the bulldozers that should be cleaning drains? By this time, a fleet of bulldozers should have been deployed to clean the drains. It is important to bring this dismal state of affairs to public notice, of how the BJP-led MCD is failing to fulfil its basic responsibilities,” Mr. Pathak said.

MCD’s response

However, the MCD in a statement issued on Sunday said it plans to complete the work of desilting all the drains by June 15, before the onset of the monsoon. It said that it had already finished two-thirds of the de-silting work.

The municipality said it has abundant equipment for removing the silt from the drains and experienced personnel to do this work.

“MCD has completed about 66% of the desilting work and removed about 60,000 metric tonnes of silt from the drains. Silt from the drains is sent to the landfill site, which is monitored by RFID, and there is no scope for human intervention in it,” the statement read.

BJP’s counterattack

Responding to the allegations, Delhi BJP Spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said that Mr. Pathak had made a false statement by saying that 95% of Delhi’s rains fall in MCD areas. The truth is that 75% drains are under the Delhi government, he said. 

“I challenge Mr. Pathak to show if any of Delhi government’s departments, be it PWD, Jal Board or Flood Department, are carrying out any desilting work on any major drains. The fact is that past experiences show that the monsoon reaches Delhi in the first week of July and it is sad that Mr. Pathak speaks without proper knowledge on every matter related to Delhi,” said Mr. Kapoor.

He added that one of the last decisions that the outgoing Mayors of the MCDs took on Sunday was to start of desilting of drains, for which work has already been started.

Blame game

Mr. Pathak said that over a thousand bulldozers are required for the cleaning of small-to-medium-sized drains across Delhi but the MCD does not possess more than 50 bulldozers. 

“The procedure for cleaning these drains begins with acquiring/renting the required number of bulldozers about a month in advance. But the MCD has not even initiated the process to procure these bulldozers, forget beginning the actual cleaning and silt removal work.”

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the usual time for the arrival of the monsoon in Delhi is June 27. Last year, the monsoon was delayed and reached the city on July 13. But with over 1000 m.m. of rain, it was one of the wettest monsoons on record. Intense spells of rain had caused widespread waterlogging, with one person drowning in a waterlogged underpass.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2022 9:48:07 pm |