Swimming In The Rain: A Flooded Capital

Flooded Capital

Delhi is known for its weather, be it the chilly winters which set our teeth on edge with the icy wind or the heatwaves which sweep the city and make us appreciate the cool of the shade and make even the most reluctant an ardent fan of swimming pools.

But the best (or the worst, depending on who’s driving) is the monsoon season. Granting a relief from the debilitating heat, it brings out a new character of the city, washing away the dust and grime and making an outing to India Gate a must for anyone in the capital.

On the other hand, for a city which really loves its rains, Delhi has proven to be unready for the assault which the weather has decided to bring upon us. Reports of important roads being flooded in the peak rush hours have bene coming in, with bullock carts being used in places where no car would survive. The Ring Roads were seeing moments where the tarmac could not be seen, replaced by the vista of pitter patter of drops on a sea of rainwater and overflowing drains.

Deputy CM Manish Sisodia was seen handling the reins while the CM himself is in Punjab doing seva and penance for his ‘sins’ while the rest of Delhi is under the impression of being washed away. With knee deep waters in several areas, it is a grim picture indeed.

Traffic has been thrown out of gear, so much so that while in jams, many commuters reportedly switched of their vehicles to catch a couple of hours of rest before dealing with the chaos which ruled supreme on the roads. Many of the more congested areas of Delhi have also reported overflowing drains which have flooded the streets with sewage water, making it a severe health hazard as well.

At the same time, we have reports from the National Green Tribunal on the sorry state of affairs of the sewage treatment plants which have reportedly been releasing contaminated water into the Yamuna. Along with better working standards for the existing 7 sewage treatment plants, it has questioned the Delhi Jal Board’s plan to clean the Yamuna with 14 more treatment plants. With Delhi generating over 4200 million litres of waste water every day of which less than 50% ever reaches a Sewage Treatment Plant with the rest being released directly into the Yamuna, it paints a grim picture indeed.

Is it high time for a concentrated effort by the government to fix the water troubles of the National Capital once and for all? Swinging between drought and flooding, Delhi is a grim reminder of the hassles the average person is faced with due to years of negligence from government bodies and functionaries.

Ranveer Raj Bhatnagar

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The Viewspaper