68.2 mm rain in 2 hrs brings Chandigarh to halt

Monsoon arrives | Commuters stranded in rush hour | Southern sectors worst-hit

68.2 mm rain in 2 hrs brings Chandigarh to halt

Vehicles negotiate a waterlogged road separating Sectors 17 and 18 after heavy rain in Chandigarh. Manoj Mahajan

Tribune News Service

Sandeep Rana

Chandigarh, June 30

Season’s first monsoon rain poured misery on people as waterlogging and traffic jams were witnessed across the city today.

The city received 68.2 mm rainfall from 9 am to around 11 am, leading to flooding of roads, roundabouts, parking lots and markets at several places. Rainwater even entered a Sector 21 D house as a choked road gully overflowed. An Alto car got washed away at the Toga bridge, which leads towards New Chandigarh.

It all started with a drizzle around 8.30 am, followed by heavy rain. As the downpour coincided with the morning rush hour, serpentine queues were witnessed, leading to chaos on roads.

Apart from main roads, inner roads too got choked at many places as hassled motorists rushed to find a way out. Roads in almost all sectors faced snarl-ups for a few hours. Southern sectors were the worst hit. Some of the interior as well as main roads in Sectors 19, 21, 29, 33, 34, 35, 36, 40, 41 and 45 were found choked. Several commuters were seen stranded as their vehicles broke down. Knee-deep water was witnessed on many stretches.

“I had a torrid time on the road. It took me over two hours to reach Sector 17 from Sector 39. There were jams all around due to waterlogging, as motorists kept looking for a way out. There was no one to manage traffic at most places as traffic cops were missing,” lamented Rajwinder Singh, who works in a private firm.

Baljinder Singh Bittu, chairman, Federation of Sectors Welfare Association of Chandigarh, said: “It is failure on part of the municipal corporation as well as the UT Administration as they didn’t make adequate arrangements ahead of monsoon. Where did the fund meant for maintenance of road gullies go? These are supposed to be cleaned before monsoon.”

On its part, the corporation claimed its 18 teams drained out accumulated water within 30 minutes after the rain. They swung into action soon after the rain started around 8.30 am and drained out water from some low-lying areas using pump sets/suction machines.

Anindita Mitra, MC Commissioner, said they had constituted 18 teams specifically to control waterlogging. “For the past three months, the MC has been persistently making efforts to clean road gullies and manhole chambers of the storm water drainage system besides repairing road gullies, etc. The stagnation occurred due to heavy rainfall and rising of the bed level of natural choes. Water flowed above the HFL (highest flood level) in natural choes.”

Car washed away

  • Alto car washed away at Toga bridge
  • Snarl-ups in Sectors 19, 21, 29, 33, 34, 35, 36, 40, 41 and 45
  • First day of monsoon saw 72.9 mm rainfall in 24 hours, highest in the UT in the past nine years.
  • On June 14, 2013, the city had witnessed 92.4 mm rainfall. The month this year has seen an overall rainfall of 122.8 mm.
  • The mercury further dropped on Thursday to 26.9 °C, 9 °C below normal. It is also lowest for the month (24.2 °C) since 2013.
  • The Met Department declared arrival of monsoon, saying it is expected to be above normal.

Water drained out promptly: MC

The MC claimed 18 teams drained out water from low-lying areas using pump sets/suction machines within 30 minutes after rain. They swung into action soon after rain started around 8.30 am.

Snarl-ups all around

I had a torrid time. It took me over two hours to reach Sector 17 from Sector 39. There were jams all around. There was no one to manage traffic. — Rajwinder Singh, employee of a private firm

Rise in choe levels to blame

The stagnation occurred due to heavy rainfall and rising of bed level of natural choes. Water flowed above the HFL (highest flood level) in choes. — Anindita Mitra, MC Commissioner

With monsoon arriving, naked wires of an electricity pole on the road separating Sectors 17 and 18 in Chandigarh pose a threat to motorists.Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

#monsoon

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