In Deep Waters


Sept. 3, 2010, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 4 No.-07 September 3-16, 2010 (Bhadra 18, 2067)

Delhi, a city which runs on the fast lane, virtually came to a standstill for several days last month. The reason: the havoc created by heavy downpour.

The city experienced 617mm rainfall this monsoon season. A record 423.1 mm of rainfall was recorded in the month of August alone, making it the wettest August in the last ten years.

The rain did provide a much needed relief from the heat, but it turned out to be disastrous for the Delhites. Right from the road cave-ins to water logging and haphazard traffic, this season’s monsoon has ended up being a curse rather than a boon.

Water logging became a major headache in many places in South Delhi.  Some parts of the North also experienced knee –high water on the main roads.

People had to crawl their way through to reach their destinations. Crowds in bus stations like Inter State Bus Depot in Kashmere Gate and Delhi Transport Corporation depot in Indraprastha were especially hit hard by the incessant rain. The Metro passengers too suffered as rain water made its way into the stations.

The drainage system went completely haywire and road cave-ins were reported in many places with one youth losing his life in Gurgaon.

Long queues of vehicles on most of the road were a common sight as vehicles moved at a snail’s pace. With roads dug up and debris to be cleared out for the Common Wealth Games, the rain made it almost impossible for the commuters as well. 

The rising level of water in river Yamuna due to the rain generated the greatest threat. The water crossed the danger level of 204.83 metres around the third week of the month and continued to flow above the danger level for five consecutive days. Alarm bells of flood were sounded and many were evacuated from low lying areas. Also, with flood from Haryana being let out into Yamuna, even graver dangers were feared. The Old Yamuna Bridge, which connects the north east part of Delhi to the central part, was completely closed due to the obvious risks.

As Delhi prepares itself for the Common Wealth Games and boasts of the fast paced development in the city and its world - class infrastructures, loopholes like these definitely showed there is a long way to go for the city.

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