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Delhi, Interrupted

Delhi, Interrupted
There seems to be no end to the deluge in the national capital. It returned on Monday to bring the city to a still as the skies opened up for around half-an-hour with 1.33 mm rainfall. Despite the agonising experience of Saturday, when it rained cats and dogs in the city with roads flooded, signal lights off and unsuspecting residents electrocuted, those responsible for running the city seemed to have taken no lessons.

As soon as it rained on Monday, all semblance of administration once again was washed away from city roads. With no traffic cops, no signal lights and no civic official present to drain out water, traffic snarls returned with a vengeance.

People commuting in the area around South Delhi, ITO, East Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar and the Ring Roads connecting the satellite towns with Delhi were worst hit.
While waterlogging remained the major issue, the situation turned worse with uprooted trees, especially on the controversial BRT corridor, leading to the closure of both the carriageway, completely choking traffic between South and New Delhi areas.

‘I was on my way from IIT Delhi to Mayur Vihar when it started to rain. Roads like Tilak Marg, Mahatma Gandhi Marg near Purana Quilla, Mandi House circle and even Ring Road near Indraprastha Metro station were blocked due to waterlogging. This made traffic crawl and it took three hours to reach my destination,’ said Amrita Mishra, a resident of Jia Sarai near IIT.

Many commuters also faced a harrowing time as the frequency of buses were reduced as they broke down on flooded roads. Slow traffic in important areas like Vasant Kunj, Chattarpur, Parliament Street, Aurobindo Marg, Moti Bagh, Badarpur, Ashram Chowk, Saket, MG Road, Azadpur, Kashmere Gate and Connaught Place meant that the whole city once again came to a still.

‘I never find any traffic cop manning traffic during rains, not even near the traffic signals,’ said a commuter. ‘With a manpower of 5000 traffic police officials, who look after around 75 lakh registered vehicles in the capital, the traffic is bound to be slow due to  waterloggings,’ said Anil Shukla, Additional Commissioner, Traffic.

Underpasses in the city on Monday were flooded like last Saturday. Moolchand underpass, Paschim Vihar underpass, Punjabi Bagh underpass, Prembari pul underpass, Dwarka underpass, Punjabi Bagh Club road, Raghubir Nagar, Raja Garden and Lala Lajpat Rai Marg towards both carriageway of Moolchand were filled with water.

The traffic department blamed the civic bodies for waterlogging and subsequent traffic snarls. ‘The civic bodies are well aware of roads that need to be repaired and resurfaced. It’s not that they need the Traffic Police report and letters to know about the vulnerable points. All agencies have their own control rooms,’ said Anil Shukla.

Despite prior information by the Delhi Traffic Police to the civic agencies like Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Public Works Department (PWD), National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in February to mend roads prone to water logging before monsoon, nothing seems to have been done.
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