The national capital received 126 mm rainfall between 8.30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday — the highest this monsoon — leading to waterlogging, traffic jams and vehicle breakdowns in several areas, and the death of a woman.
The BJP and the Congress unleashed an attack on the AAP government saying that the first full day’s rain completely exposed it. The BJP also slammed Mayor Shelly Oberoi for attending a meeting in Ahmedabad despite “knowing” that the city would receive heavy rainfall during the weekend.
The Delhi government did not respond to queries on the waterlogging situation and the BJP’s allegations. But a source at the Chief Minister’s Office said, “There was more than 100 mm of rain in a single day, which is 15% of the total rainfall Delhi gets every monsoon. This much water cannot be drained while the rain is still on.”
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), this was the highest rainfall recorded in a day in July in at least 20 years. The heavy rainfall is due to a western disturbance. There is an orange alert for Sunday and prediction of “heavy rains at isolated places”, the IMD said. More rains are predicted every day for the next week.
Cave-ins, traffic snarls
DCP (Central) Sanjay Sain said a portion of a dilapidated house, which comes under the jurisdiction of Desh Bandhu Gupta road police station, collapsed due to rain. Ranjit Kaur, 58, was trying to salvage some items after a portion of the ceiling collapsed but came under the debris after the rest of it came crashing down, the DCP said. She was later found dead.
The Delhi Fire Service received 15 calls related to house collapse or portions of houses caving in.
On Saturday, traffic was affected on Aurobindo Marg, Rohtak Road, Ring Road from Rajouri Garden towards Punjabi Bagh and from ISBT Kashmere Gate towards Rajghat, Lajpat Nagar, Okhla, Tilak Marg, Mathura Road, ITO, AIIMS, Pandav Nagar, RK Puram, Laxmi Nagar, Chirag Delhi, Nehru Place, due to waterlogging, a traffic police official said. The police barricaded the Minto Bridge underpass to stop traffic movement due to waterlogging. Connaught Place also faced waterlogging while underpasses near the India Gate were flooded and a portion of road near the Malviya Nagar metro station caved in.
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) received 24 complaints about waterlogging, uprooted trees and broken branches. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) received 20 complaints related to waterlogging and three of fallen trees.
AAP under attack
Delhi Congress president Anil Chaudhary said the promises made by PWD Minister Atishi and Mayor Shelly Oberoi of making all preparations to address waterlogging and traffic jams fell flat. The citizens are troubled despite AAP promising to address all civic problems prior to the MCD elections, he added.
Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said, “Shelly Oberoi despite knowing that Delhi is in for a very wet weekend, choose to attend the international Mayors’ conference in Ahmedabad. What would have been Delhi’s image today had the Mayors’ conference been held here?”