A man drowned in a flooded underpass in southeast Delhi on Monday, a day of heavy rain that caused water-logging and traffic snarls in many parts of the city. As weary Delhiites resigned themselves to another rained out day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held out the promise of a better tomorrow with a “world class drainage system” soon.
People took to social media to upload videos of waterlogged streets, markets and colonies. In some of the videos, people were seen wading through knee-deep water in Najafgarh and Narela markets.
Water-logging was also reported on many road stretches, including ITO, Ring Road and Mathura Road, Pul Prahladpur underpass, Ring Road, areas near Pragati Maidan, Palam, Kirari, Rohtak Road and Dhaula Kuan.
The city woke up to incessant overnight rains on Monday morning having received 70 mm rain till 8.30 am that caused water-logging in several parts of the city.
The national capital is expected to continue receiving moderate rainfall with some isolated intense spells for the next 24 hours, the India Meteorological Department said on Monday.
A 27-year-old man drowned while allegedly clicking selfies and filming a waterlogged railway underpass in southeast Delhi's Pul Prahladpur area on Monday, police said.
He has been identified as Ravi Chautala of Jaitpur, they said. The police said local people told them that the victim had gone in the waterlogged underpass to click selfies and make videos.
"Information was received about the drowning of a person below railway underpass Pul Prahladpur. Fire brigade and divers were called in to rescue him but later his body was recovered and he was identified as Ravi Chautala," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southeast) R P Meena said.
Traffic police officials said the vehicular movement on the Pul Prahladpur stretch in southeast Delhi had to be shut due to water-logging in the underpass.
"Water-logging reported at Pul Prahladpur under railway bridge. Traffic is diverted from MB (Mehrauli-Badarpur) Road towards Mathura Road, Delhi Traffic Police said in a tweet.
A portion of a road caved-in in Dwarka's Sector-18 due to heavy rains following which a police constable's car submerged into it.
Chief Minister Arvind Kerjiwal announced that a "world class drainage system" will be developed across the city, adding that drainage systems like the one at Minto Road here will be replicated across Delhi and drains and sewers will be desilted regularly.
"Considering the monsoon, a review meeting with PWD, MCD, DJB, I&FC under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor was conducted on Delhi's drainage system.
"Minto Road type system will be developed at other (vulnerable) points in Delhi. Regular cleaning of drains and sewers will be ensured. We will develop a world class drainage system in Delhi," Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi after the meeting.
According to municipal data, water-logging was seen at around 37 locations in the SDMC areas, including Lajpat Nagar-2, Darya Ganj, RK Puram, Hauz Khas, Saket, Janakpuri, Tilak Nagar etc.
Nineteen tree uprooting incidents and six cases of wall collapse were reported in the area under SDMC jurisdiction.
According to the data from the North MCD, only seven complaints of water-logging were recorded till Monday afternoon.
Not just road stretches, many low-lying areas, including colonies and markets, were inundated as well.
These include the Najafgarh main market, Narela DSIIDC market, Mundka industrial area, Dwarka, some parts of Sadar Bazar and Kamla Nagar markets, Sangam Vihar and Som Vihar among others.
The water-logging led to heavy traffic snarls at many stretches in the city. Traffic congestions were witnessed on Ring Road near Millennium Park, ITO, Sarai Kale Khan, Kilokri, near IP Flyover, Dhaula Kuan, Vikas Marg, Azadpur, Tikri Road, Rohtak Road, Mukarba Chowk, Apsara Border, Geeta Colony and the Yamuna bridge among others.
Commuters faced difficulties on their way to work due to these traffic snarls. Mohit Tomar, who works in the income tax department, said it took him over one and a half hours to cross ITO.
"I reached ITO around 10.15 am from my home at Dilshad Colony and got stuck there for almost one and a half hours. Generally, the stretch takes around 10 minutes, but today, the traffic was heavy. I somehow managed to reach my office around 12.20 pm," he said.
Another commuter, Sunil Yadav, a legal officer at a private bank, said his commute to office usually takes 45 minutes but on Monday it took nearly one and a half hours.
"The major traffic was at Apsara border, Welcome and Seelampur flyovers," he added. Taking to Twitter, the Delhi Traffic Police posted updates about waterlogged spots and traffic diversions.
"Water-logging has been reported at Lampur underpass. Please avoid Lampur underpass & take alternate route via Narela Bawana flyover," it said in one such tweet.
Another tweet from the official handle of Delhi Traffic Police said, "Water logging has been reported at Ramdev chowk in Narela. Pl avoid Ramdev chowk." Public Works Department officials said water-logging complaints were being dealt with on priority basis.
"Our field staff along with senior engineers are on the ground. Water is being removed from streets," an official said.