Incessant rain in the Capital on Saturday and Sunday led to waterlogging across the city, including in parts of Lutyens’ Delhi that have been designated “controlled zone 1” for the G20 Summit, officials said, adding that more than 800 field workers were pressed into action to keep arterial roads ready for the movement of delegates.
Delhi logged 38.6mm of rainfall in a 24-hour period till 8:30am on Sunday, and a subsequent 1.3mm rainfall from 8:30am to 5:30pm, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), leading to complaints of water logging from parts of the Capital.
A senior New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) official, declining to be named, said the G20 control room set up at the Humayun Road disaster management centre remained active all night, coordinating the water removal work between various agencies, with security personnel deputed on ground flagging some instances and others tracked using the cameras of the Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC).
The official quoted above said the control room received 70 complaints as of 11am on Sunday. “Of these, 26 were received on Saturday night. The reported issues encompassed minor waterlogging, fallen tree leaves, and malfunctioning road lights, necessitating swift and effective action,” he said.
The official said NDMC addressed 19 instances of waterlogging at crucial locations — at Le Meridien near Janpath, Sikandra Road, C-Hexagon, Copernicus Marg, Barakhamba Road, Kidwai Bhawan, Statesman house, Mandi House, Harish Chander Mathur Lane, and Kautilya Marg. “The removal of water stagnation was achieved through manual efforts and the utilisation of super sucker machines,” the official said.
“Around 800 workers equipped with wipers and mobile water pumps were working through the night to keep the water accumulation under control. Wipers were used to increase the flow of water towards bell-mouths,” the official added.
NDMC vice chairman Satish Upadhyay said, “Field workers have worked hard to keep the roads operational for the second day of the summit.”
Shahnawaz Khan, an NDMC field worker deputed at Connaught Place, said that the entire team was on its toes through the night. “We have been staying overnight in a nearby office, and with heavy rainfall starting late night on Saturday, we were tasked with checking all the bell-mouths (tapered opening) of drains open and increasing the waterflow manually,” Khan said.
A second NDMC official said 450 cameras of ICCC were deployed to keep track of areas where water was starting to accumulate. “In some cases, such as areas near Connaught Place, the preliminary information regarding waterlogging was dispatched by the police, while some complaints were also dispatched from the traffic police control room. In interdepartmental team efforts, a team was also dispatched to clear the waterlogging near the gate number 7 and 8 of Pragati Maidan. Due to security reasons, police provided us a window of 1am to 3am to clear the areas,” the official said, on condition of anonymity.
Separately, a Public Works Department (PWD) official said, “The stretch between Rajghat to Indraprastha flyover had two pumps operationalised for half an hour starting 6.30am to clear the area for VIP movement. The main Pragati Maidan Tunnel was clear and no pumps were required.”
The official added that other parts of the city, such as Narela and Mundka, witnessed heavy water logging, and pumps were set up to clear the neighbourhoods.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi, in its official monsoon report on Sunday, said that waterlogging complaints were received from Narela, Lado Sarai, Neb Sarai, Sainik Farms, Delhi Gate, and Mubarak Pur Dabas. The civic body also registered 16 cases of tree felling in places like Vasant Kunj, Geeta Colony, Greater Kailash-3, and Sheikh Sarai.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Traffic Police issued an advisory at 8.30am on Sunday, saying that traffic movement was affected on Rohtak Road between Rajdhani Park and Tikri Border due to waterlogging.