It seems the only solution left for people is to approach the court to make the authorities accountable for the damages caused by rain. The state of sanitation and health services is worsening day by day in the city despite the fact that it is governed through its own Administrator and has a large number of high-profile government offices. However, none cares for the shortcomings.
Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh
Introduce rainwater harvesting
Even a brief spell of rain is enough to bring the city to a standstill. Rainwater not only floods city roads but also enters houses. A plan should be put in place for timely cleaning of drains, de-silting and managing the waste. Rainwater harvesting should be introduced as a means to conserve water. It will prevent waterlogging as saved water can be used for gardening and washing purposes.
Kamalpreet Kaur, Mohali
Officials refuse to learn from experience
Waterlogging often results in traffic jams and it is not a new phenomenon but the officials concerned refuse to learn from this experience year after year despite having enough manpower to tackle the problem. Roadside gullies are not cleaned before the onset of the monsoon and the waste generated by the city too remains unattended for for days, blocking the drains. This is a case of dereliction of duty on the part of the officials concerned.
SC Luthra, Chandigarh
Prevention is better than cure
Open drains, dug up roads and blocked road gullies with polythene bags and dry leaves have made residents’ lives a hell. Rain inundates the city, bringing it to a halt with most of the roundabouts, parking lots and streets flooded with rainwater. The garbage generated by residents and dry leaves keep piling up and block road gullies and drains, leading to waterlogging. Tall claims of the MC too fell flat and swift action is needed to clean road gullies. Diseases and various infections go hand in hand. So, prevention is better than cure.
Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh
Public, officials need to work in sync
Water flows along the path of least resistance. The general gradient in the tricity is in the SSW to SW direction and the engineers concerned must have planned Panchkula accordingly. However, villages are not planned this way due to which a haphazard construction have taken place. Due to their higher level, the Chandigarh-Delhi and Zirakpur-Shimla flyovers also obstruct the free flow of rainwater, leading to waterlogging. To tackle the problem, an honest relationship is needed about the public, contractors and officials. The contractors must provide necessary equipment to workers involved in cutting the grass and cleaning the drains.
Dr Gurdev Singh, Mohali
Work in tandem
With the onset of the monsoon, which lasts nearly 100 days, the UT Engineering, Electricity and Horticulture Departments need to work in a tandem so that people are not inconvenienced due to waterlogging, uprooting of trees and power outages.
Nikita Kapur, Chandigarh
Form panel to deal with situation
The UT Administration has failed to tackle the accumulation of water during rain in the city. The cause of this perennial suffering is inadequacy of the drainage system. The government must accord priority to the issue and form a high-powered technical committee to evaluate the existing drainage system in venerable areas and recommend means to overcome the problem. The civic authorities must ensure periodical cleaning of road gullies and storm drains, particularly before the onset of the monsoons. The MC must be geared up to combat any alarming situation arising out of unprecedented rain/floods.
SS Arora, Mohali
Several road gullies and drainage pipes are blocked by litter and are even broken. Proper cleaning of these road gullies, manholes and sewage lines well before the monsoons is necessary. In Chandigarh, there are more than 30,000 road gullies, half of which are being cleaned now when the first showers of the monsoon have already lashed the tricity. Even in Panchkula, the MC floated a tender on June 1 for the cleaning of road gullies, which will take at least two months. Till the time, cleaning work is done, more than half of the rainy season would be over.
SK Khosla, Chandigarh
Improve drainage system
Every year, tall claims of the MC fall flat. Showers bring the city to a halt with water entering houses and waterlogging crippling the movement of the city. Accumulation of debris and waste further adds to the woes. The worst affected are the roundabouts and slip lanes, which tend to remain flooded during the monsoon, making these areas accident-prone. Garbage, polythene bags and dry leaves keep piling up and choke the drains, leading to waterlogging. The MC has miserably failed to tackle the accumulation of water. There is a lack of co-ordination among various departments, which causes a lot of inconvenience to people. There is a need to upgrade the drainage system. Roads also need to be re-aligned in accordance with the natural flow of water.
Vineet Kapoor, Panchkula
Constitute inspection teams for the task
It is unfortunate that residents of Sector 19, Panchkula, had to bear the brunt of the poor drainage system and the official apathy. The councillor of the area should take up this pertinent issue with the civic body and at the higher level for timely cleaning of road and street gutters to cope with the water woes during the rainy season. The capacity of underground drainage pipes should also be enhanced while undertaking augmentation works of the available drainage system in the tricity. Special inspection teams should be constituted to visit such trouble spots after each torrential rain and submit their report to the District Administration, pointing out lapses on the part of the department concerned.
Bhupinder S Sealopal, Mohali
Penalise officials concerned
It is regretted to observe that every year rain wreaks havoc for residence of the area. Officials of the department concerned should be held accountable for the dereliction of duty. They must be penalised and strict action should be taken against them. The only solution lies in accountability and the increment they get every year must be withdrawn for at least two years.
Tarlok Singh, Mani Majra
Be prepared to tackle emergencies
From the recent spell of rain, the authorities should learn a lesson and prepare themselves to face the onslaught of the monsoon. The drainage system be made efficient by clearing road gullies/gutters and remove any obstruction along roads and natural choes/nullahs passing through the tricity. Broken patches/pits on roads should be repaired/filled up. Pumps should be on standby mode to drain out water from the low-lying/waterlogged areas/buildings/houses. Fire brigade units and the Red Cross with ambulances be ready to rescue trapped people and injured should be taken to hospitals for treatment. Water supply, electricity, food, transport, police departments should be put on alert to maintain essential services. To monitor the whole arrangement, committees or teams can be formed.
AS Ahuja, Chandigarh
Civic bodies exposed
An hour-long monsoon showers were enough to expose false claims of the tricity MCs. It proved to be a mockery of the system. There was waterlogging, the movement of traffic was disrupted and the worse sufferers were commuters. A few steps by the MCs would have reduced the pain of the public. Cleaning the drainage system, re-carpeting roads in low-lying areas will not allow the stagnation of water, which proves a breeding ground for mosquitoes and spread of dengue in the tricity.
Harish Kapur, Chandigarh
Take preventive measures
After witnessing a flood-like situation in the entire city, especially of Sector 19 where residents were made to face it for not fault of theirs. It is the story of every year. It can be prevented but the authorities fail to take necessary steps. The work which should have been completed before the monsoon has just begun. However, the MC has finally woken up from deep slumber and has started work on cleaning road gullies. Perhaps, the work was delayed due to the recent tussle in the MC. A well-planned preventive mechanism is the only way out to avoid such a situation. Above all, there is a need for proper monitoring.
Vidya Sagar Garg, Panchkula
It is the rainy session. Rain gives us relief from hot and humid days. Instead, we face many problems due to the accumulation of water. This situation is caused by the negligence of the administration. Chandigarh is a modern city. Even then, the Administration does not plan properly in advance to solve the situation. The UT Administration should construct smooth and wide roads. It should also replace narrow rainwater pipes with wider ones before the rainy session. All rainwater pipes and gullies should be cleaned in time. The waste material should be removed from near gutters immediately. Bores or holes should be made on roadsides so that recycling of rainwater could be done.
Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, Mohali
Need special department
The authorities act at the eleventh hour. Service of a special department, which should be formed exclusively to tackle the situation, are required throughout the year. The waste should not be thrown out at any cost as this is a major cause of the choking of drains.
There has to be pre-planned cleaning of gullies and sewers well before the onset of the monsoon. There should not be any multiplicity of responsibilities. Divide the city into different zones and sub-zones and fix the responsibility of officials.
Tejinder Singh Kalra, Mohali
Efficient drainage system needed
The lack of efficient drainage system causes trouble in the city. During heavy downpour, the drainage system fails. The introduction of systematic and cost effective drainage is required. The drainage system should be converted to the rainwater harvesting system. Public cooperation is the key to handle the situation.
Mehul Arora, Patiala
There must be a good drill to remove fallen trees from roads and repair of snapped electricity wires. Additional traffic police and recovery resources need to be employed for vehicles stuck in the rain water. If we channel the rainwater correctly, then there will be no shortage of drinking water in the city. It would go a long way in recharging the fast depleting groundwater and storing enough for everyone’s use. So, lets take preventive measures and prepare ourselves for the monsoon. Let the rainwater be turned as a friend rather than become a foe.
Madhu RD Singh, Ambala Cantt
Concrete measures should be adopted
The tricity dispensation is always caught napping when it rains and acts only after the damage has been done. Some sectors/phases, especially in low-lying areas, are inundated. Rainwater enters residential areas, adding to the residents’ miseries. Residents of Sector 19, Panchkula, had to face the wrath of the rain god with the first downpour of the season. The slush/sewage left after the showers is turning out to be breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies. A brief spell of showers is enough to disrupt traffic, leaving the residents to the mercy of the rain god. The dispensation needs to come out with a workable solution to the problem as piecemeal measures employed by it have proved to be futile. Concrete measures need to be taken to redress the problem once and for all.
Ramesh K Dhiman, Chanidgarh
Ensure public participation
Population and buildings have increased manifold in tricity. Besides making the staff concerned work effectively, the reorientation of the obsolete drainage system is the need of the hour. Drainage pipes and points need appropriate widening. People should also contribute to tackle the problem. The authorities can only be held responsible if the public plays its role.
MPS Chadha, Mohali
Have maintenance calendar
The tricity, especially Chandigarh, has a good rainwater drainage system. Slackness and not having a maintenance calendar for undertaking maintenance of the drainage system is the main cause of the problem. The authorities should form different zones and nominate an official for each of the areas with responsibility and accountability. The official should ensure the cleaning of drains before the onset of the monsoon. Residents should not drop litter in the open as it blocks the drainage system.
Bharat Bhushan Sharma
At present, the condition of the drainage system in the tricity is deplorable. It will continue to remain so if no action is taken. The drainage system, developed in a piecemeal fashion in more than six decades, is broken and in desperate need of repair. No change can take place overnight. But, if we act together, the change would follow.
Sehajnoor Singh, Patiala
According to me, in order to get things right, the authorities should get the sewerage cleaned and remove blockage from the pipes to avoid flooding of city areas.
Arshnoor Singh, Patiala
OPEN HOUSE COMMENT
Shed lethargy, be serious & spend wisely
Notwithstanding massively publicised efforts for the monsoon, an hour-long downpour is enough to inundate major parts of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. The situation in peripheral towns – Kharar, Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Nayagaon and Kurali — is even worst. For instance, the hour-long showers on July 12, with which the MeT Department proclaimed the arrival of the monsoon, brought more pain than cheer for the locals. The worst affected were residents of Sector 19 in Panchkula where rainwater entered several houses. This happens every year but the authorities seem least concerned. For the sake of records, a hefty amounts is shown to be spent on what is described in official jargon as flood control measures. Ironically, the amount spent every year, running into crores, seems to aggravate the problem instead. Choked road gullies, blockage in the natural flow of water, uneven leveling of roads and streets besides unauthorised construction play havoc with the city whenever the skies open up. Water accumulates in low-lying areas, causing inconvenience to motorists.
In the absence of any accountability, responsiveness and transparency in the system, the public is left in the lurch and made to suffer. Whenever waterlogging takes place, the civic authorities swing into action and take what at best can be described as face-saving temporary remedial measures without realising the need for a long-term and permanent solution to end the rain pain forever.
Mohali even hired experts from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai, and Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Chandigarh, to tackle the menace of waterlogging. While GMADA hired the IIT for several lakhs of rupees, the Municipal Corporation paid Rs 17 lakh to PEC for conducting the study. This all happened years ago but nothing changed on ground and the huge amount went down the drain. The civic authorities In Chandigarh and Panchkula have also been making tall claims. But Panchkula even failed to clean the road gullies this year before the July 12 rain.
Concerted and conscious steps must be taken in right earnest to keep the road gullies in the tricity clean, level roads and streets and raze unauthorised construction blocking the natural flow of water before saying ‘welcome monsoon.’
OPEN HOUSE QUESTION
Two teenagers were arrested by the Chandigarh Police recently for vehicle theft, which they used to commit for joyrides, and recovered a number of stolen two-wheelers and four-wheelers from them. Resorting to thefts, that also for joyrides at teenage, seems to be a serious issue. What should be done to reform such youths and prevent others from falling into such a trap? Send your comments in not more than 70 words at firstname.lastname@example.org
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