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‘Traffic police had identified 157 areas vulnerable to waterlogging’

Despite information given in February by the Delhi traffic police to the three civic bodies in the city, public works department (PWD), national highways authority of India (NHAI) and Delhi development authority (DDA), on maintenace work needed in 157 areas before the monsoon to avoid waterlogging, the authorities failed to avoid the problem.

According to traffic officials, 65 areas out of the 157 places mentioned by the traffic cops were waterlogged on Tuesday after the capital received heavy rains. This includes the Moolchand underpass, Paschim Vihar underpass, Punjabi Bagh underpass, Prem Bari Pul underpass, Dwarka underpass, Raghubir Nagar, Raja Garden and Lala Lajpat Rai Marg. Thirty-one areas not included in the list drawn up by the traffic cops in February, also experienced waterlogging on Tuesday. This includes Nigambodh Ghat, Roushan Ara, Madangir and Siri Fort Road.

The capital came to a standstill on Tuesday evenings as waterlogging following heavy downpour caused traffic snarls. Traffic was slowed down in areas like Parliament Street, Ring Road, I.T.O., and Kashmere Gate. Waterlogging was also reported from Mahipalpur village, which affected movement of traffic from Gurgaon towards Vasant Kunj and Chattarpur.

On Wednesday, traffic officials said that despite the notice given in February, concerned agencies did nothing to avert the problem. A reminder had been also been sent in May. 'Civic bodies were well aware of the roads that needed to be repaired and resurfaced. They don’t need a report from the traffic police. All agencies have their own control rooms to inform them of such things,' said Anil
Shukla, additional commissioner of police, traffic.

'In the first week of June, PWD, in reply to a letter from the traffic police, had informed that the capital would not witness any waterlogging this monsoon,' added Shukla. On enquiring about the traffic planning at nights, Shukla said, 'Our officials have been deployed on the roads, especially in south Delhi, border areas and VVIP zones, from 12.30 am. If the traffic is heavy, it takes time to sort out the jams as the number of vehicles are huge.'

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