New Delhi: Record rains lashed the national capital on Saturday, crippling the traffic movement and causing heavy waterlogging in many parts of the city, with places like Minto Bridge, Rajghat, Connaught Place, and ITO being inundated. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said Delhi recorded 138.8 mm of rainfall, the highest one-day rain for August in last 14 years.
According to IMD officials, Saturday’s rainfall of 138.8 mm is the ninth highest in the last 62 years for August and highest after 2007, in the last 14 years (2007-2021) for August.
Meteorological (MeT) officials said that highest ever rainfall for August since 1961 till 2021 is 184.0 mm. It was recorded on August 2, 1961.
The weather office has issued an ‘orange’ alert, a warning for extremely bad weather with the potential of disruption in commute with road and drain closures and interruption of power supply, for the city.
According to Delhi Police officials, a 60-year-old guard died on Saturday due to electric shock in east Delhi’s Anand Vihar area allegedly due to waterlogging.
Public Works Department (PWD) officials said 316 complaints of waterlogging were received at the control room till 4.30 pm on Saturday. The officials said that the field staff was on the ground to address waterlogging complaints on priority basis.
Waterlogging also damaged medicines at a state-run hospital in Rohini as the rain water entered pharmacy of the hospital, an official said.
According to data from the three civic bodies, at least 14 incidents of tree fall were reported in the city.
Commuters had a harrowing experience travelling from one place to another as vehicles crawled on important stretches. People were also seen wading through waterlogged streets in different areas of the national capital.
Stretches that witnessed jams include ITO, Dhaula Kuan, Mehram Nagar underpass near the airport, Vikas Marg, Mathura Road, Ring Road, Mukarba Chowk, Rohtak Road near Peeragarhi, Connaught Place, Barakhamba Road, Dwarka-Palam flyover and Bhairon Marg.
Narrating his tale of traffic woe, a commuter, Vikas Tyagi, said that it took him over four hours to reach Burari from Hapur due to extensive waterlogging on the city streets.
“It is a nightmare to get stuck in a traffic jam. Today’s (Saturday) rains literally crippled the traffic movement in the city as almost every street was clogged. Even the tributary roads of key stretches were jammed.
Usually, it is two hours drive between Hapur and Burari but today I reached home in four hours,” Tyagi lamented.
Due to the waterlogging, the Delhi Traffic Police in the morning closed several crucial underpasses and traffic moved at a snail’s pace at many stretches. The traffic police took to Twitter to inform commuters about road closures.
“Traffic movement on Minto Bridge (both carriageways) has been closed due to waterlogging. Please avoid (the) stretch,” the traffic police said in a tweet.
Hours later, it informed people that normal traffic movement had been restored at the Minto Bridge underpass.
Last month, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that a “world-class drainage system” would be developed across the national capital.
He had said drainage systems like the one at Minto Road would be replicated across Delhi and drains and sewers would be de-silted regularly.
A senior PWD official said that the main reason behind the flooding of the Minto Road underpass was overflow of a Delhi Jal Board (DJB) sewer line along with a “very high intensity’ rain.
“Very high intensity and record rains occurred on Saturday. Which triggered overflow of a DJB sewer line near DDU Marg. This resulted waterlogging in the Minto Road underpass. We have all the system in place so traffic was stopped immediately and water was pumped out,” the official said.
He added that the underpass was opened for traffic in three hours.
On Saturday, the traffic police said that underpasses at Azad Market in central Delhi and Azadpur in north Delhi had been closed for traffic, while vehicular movement was affected at Moolchand and Pul Prahladpur underpasses in south Delhi due to waterlogging.
Other places that witnessed waterlogging include the Ring Road near WHO building, near IP Flyover, Tilak Bridge underpass, Lajpat Nagar, Jangpura, AIIMS flyover, Connaught Place, ITO, Pusa Road, Maharani Bagh, GTK DTC depot, yards of New Delhi Railway Station and Old Delhi Railway Station, roads around Pragati Maidan, Rohtak Road, Nand Nagri and Loni Chowk.
Traffic movement was also disrupted on the Mehrauli-Badarpur road in south Delhi.
“Waterlogging at Pul Prahladpur Underpass. Traffic interrupted at MB road diverted on Mathura road. Kindly avoid (the) stretch,” the traffic police tweeted.
Another commuter, Kartik Kumar, who works in Connaught Place, said he reached his office late due to traffic jams.
“I was stuck in a traffic jam at two-three places, including ITO, due to heavy waterlogging. Delhi gets flooded even when it receives moderate rain. This causes inconvenience to the public,” said Kumar, who lives in Noida.
Several residential areas and markets in Krishna Nagar, Mayur Vihar-2, Babarpur, Mangolpuri, Kirari, Malviya Nagar, Sangam Vihar, Sadar Bazar were also inundated.
A PWD official said, “The intensity of rain this morning was high, so a few areas of the city witnessed waterlogging. Our field staff is on the ground and we are closely monitoring the situation. The Minto Road underpass has been cleared.”