Clogged gullies, underpass: Panchkula unprepared for rains

As monsoon approaches, Panchkula seems under prepared on the ground despite the city’s topography which makes it vulnerable to flooding. The Indian Express hit the city roads to assess the real time situation and found road gullies clogged at various places. The cleaning of gullies by the Municipal corporation (MC) has not begun yet which ideally which should have been done before the onset of monsoon.

The road gullies of Sectors 9,10,15,16, Industrial Area Phase 1 were uncovered, broken, choking with mud and unruly grass growing in and around the gullies. As per the MC norms, road gullies should be covered with cement lids and iron mesh for safety purposes.

A clogged underpass after a spell of rain in Panchkula. (Express Photo by Sushant Nepta)

A short spell of rain in the city on Monday evening inundated major intersections and several areas in the city.
Worst affected was low lying area of Sector 19 where a railway underbridge recently thrown open to public was in deep waters as there is no system in place for the water to drain out. Roundabouts of Sector 5, Amartex Chowk and Sector 20 were flooded.

Talking to The Indian Express, Naveen Saini a resident of Sector 19 said, “The railway underbridge was hastily opened for public without addressing the water drainage issue. During monsoon, it would be in deep mess and of no use to the people”.

Panchkula MC in its Finance and Contract Committee (F and CC) meeting held a few days ago, approved the cleaning of road gullies and recarpeting of roads in Sectors 8,9,10,15, a road stretch between Sector 12A and Industrial Area Phase 1, before the arrival of monsoon, tendors of which are to be floated yet.

A total of 12 contractors have been asked to expedite their work before monsoon against a budget of Rs 80 lakh this year, allocated for cleaning road gullies across the district coming to an end in August this year as per the information. Presiding the meeting Mayor Kulbushan Goyal also instructed the Municipal Commissioner to increase manpower if needed during monsoon.

Earlier last month Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Mahavir Kaushik presided over a meeting with Irrigation and Water Resources Department to complete 12 flood control plans worth Rs 3 crore for different villages in the district before the end of this month approved by Haryana State Drought Relief and Flood Control Board. Kaushik directed the irrigation department to ensure cleanliness of Singh Nullah, Bitna Drain, Sukhna drain, Ishan Nagar drain.

Talking to The Indian Express, Citizens Welfare Association Panchkula president SK Nayyar stated, “This monsoon too will be the same old story of people suffering due to ill preparedness of the MC. An evening shower of few minutes was enough to shun tall claims made by the MC. Every year we have written to the authorities regarding issues of water logging but all falling on deaf ears”.

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