Delhi Infra Seen Crumbling As Rain God Pours
It seems that the national capital is following Mumbai when it comes to facing the seasonal flood-like situation. A two-day continuous rainfall has deluged the infrastructure in New Delhi as well as in parts of the National Capital Region (NCR). In fact, the flood control office of the Delhi government itself was water-logged that caused hours of traffic congestion near Vikas Marg. The downpour also claimed life of many as many buildings collapsed across the city during the torrential rains. In a first, a road caved in Ghaziabad’s Vasundhara Sector 4, forcing around 96 families out of their homes.
Flood alert in Delhi
The worsening situation also resulted in flood alert in the low-lying areas of Delhi as the Yamuna river has crossed the danger water level. The river’s water level rose reached 205.66 metres on July 30 as Haryana released 6,00,000 cusecs of water amid continuous rain in the catchment areas. The water level in the Yamuna is likely to rise to 206.6 metres in the next 48 hours. The Delhi government has sent out an alert after the water level of Yamuna river crossed the danger mark. The affected areas include Old Railway Bridge, Akshardham, Geeta Colony, Okhla, Garhi Mandu, Madanpur Khadar, and Usmanpur, among others.
Waterlogging in several parts of the city lead to congestion on both arterial roads and the service lanes. The newly built Raj Nagar Extension Elevated Road was also heavily waterlogged, affecting traffic in the area for hours. There was heavy traffic on the Ghazipur Murga Mandi and Mayur Vihar Phase 2 route. Besides, the Badarpur-Mehrauli route was also affected due to waterlogging in the Badarpur railway crossing underpass.
At this time, Delhi Traffic Police took the help of social media to notify commuters about the congested stretches.
Recently IIT-Delhi submitted a report to the Delhi government, stating underlying facts behind water logging and flooding in the national capital. Identifying the reasons behind clogging of specific sewers and drains in the capital, the report suggests upgradation of the storm water infrastructure to tackle such a situation. It also suggests corrective measures for the faulty drainage infrastructure and introduction of low-cost, flood-preventing measures such as waterbody rejuvenation and rainwater harvesting. The report also mentioned that the storm water drainage system should be maintained by a single agency. Also, the elevated roads/metro pillars should not be built inside these drains. The CM has directed the departments concerned to take concrete steps to implement the suggestions and revamp the 40-year old drainage infrastructure.
Relief from pollution
The upside of this downpour was the fact that Delhi's air quality turned "good" for the first time in 2018 due to continuous rains that washed away the pollutants in the air. The Air Quality Index of New Delhi was recorded at 43 which falls under the ‘good’ category.
The PM10 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 10mm) was recorded as "good" at 39 in Delhi-NCR and 32 in Delhi. The PM2.5 level (presence of particles with a diameter less than 2.5 mm) was 39 in Delhi-NCR and 21 in Delhi, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. However, the so-called 'improvement' in Delhi's air quality is governed by the meteorological factors, claimed Greenpeace India.