City fails monsoon test in the very first spell

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Jun 2018 10:11:30


Staff Reporter,

Water-logging even on newly-constructed cement roads, at traffic junctions, under Narendra Nagar railway under bridge, Khamla market and countless many areas of the city leaves citizens cursing the civic authorities for flawed planning and equally-flawed execution of ‘developmental’ works

There is a good news. And... there is a bad news. Good news first -- Monsoon has arrived in Nagpur. The bad news? Well... citizens’ fears about incompetence of the civic authorities have come true. In the very first spell of Monsoon, several areas of the city saw waterlogging. Even the newly constructed cement roads including parts of Ring Road got submerged, throwing the smooth flow of traffic out of gear.

‘The Hitavada’, in a series of articles in the past few months, had highlighted the problems with work of cement road construction left unfinished, problems with gradients and slopes, ramps at traffic junctions and road intersections. However, it appeared that the civic and other authorities continued being insensitive to the same. Finally, the very first spell of monsoon exposed the insensitivity of the authorities concerned. On Sunday, people out there with families to enjoy the holiday, were a disappointed lot. Many simply cursed the authorities concerned for not preparing well for monsoon, as all the internal roads were waterlogged, leaving no scope for easy connectivity with main roads or Ring Road.

Narendra Nagar railway under-bridge and Mankapur bridge both were submerged. Narendra Nagar bridge continued to represent the seemingly eternal picture of what has gone wrong with city’s urban planning process. A bus was stranded right in the middle of the bridge, thanks to waterlogging. At Mankapur bridge, accumulation of water exposed that the authorities and development planners of the city did not learn any lesson from Narendra Nagar bridge case.

The road in front of Bonsaii store, on the stretch from Deekshabhoomi to Central Mall also was submerged on both sides. Though it has been usual scene for years together, the civic authorities have carried out no correction, for reasons best known to them. Near Shankar Nagar Square too, a big part of road was submerged. Similar was the situation on almost all internal roads in Ramdaspeth area as cement roads at a higher elevation have blocked the path of run-off, thereby causing waterlogging. Canal Road from Panchsheel Talkies Square also witnessed waterlogging for a while.

On West High Court road, water was flowing in the direction of slope towards Coffee House Square. The side drains were of no use as most of them were neither cleared of choke nor wide enough to suck in water. At one point of time, surging water threatened to enter into shops as its level was rising fast. Rainwater further got accumulated in a nullah on West High Court road towards Law College Square. At a narrow square leading towards Tilak Nagar, water was not flowing into nullah as no opening was provided there. Obvious result was waterlogging.

At Shankar Nagar Square too people found it difficult to manoeuvre as water got accmulated in entire area. It was difficult to venutre ahead not knowing where one would hit one of the several submerged potholes.

Anand Nagar, in front of School of Scholars in Atrey Layout, saw accumulation of water inspite of laying of new storm water lines. The excess water flowing in from adjoining Police Training School (PTS) proved too much for the drainage to take in. It seemed that the storm water drains were not thoroughly cleaned as part of pre-monsoon preparedness action by the civic body. Same was the case in almost every other locality as the first rains of the season provided a hint of what might be ahead for citizens throughout the monsoon season.

Low lying areas formed due to unscientific planning and lack of cleaning of drains is bound to create trouble for citizens in case of very heavy rains. Near RBI Quarters in Atrey Layout, the drain got choked up leading to waterlogging.

Even the newly constructed cement road (Ring Road stretch) was submerged near Nagoba Mandir Square and opposite petrol pump near Padole Hospital Square. Waterlogging on cement roads left one wondering if the authorities concerned had been misleading the taxpayers about pre-monsoon works ‘carried out’ in the city, and also about cleaning of storm water drains, design aspects of cement roads.

If one took the road from Nagoba Mandir Square to VNIT via IT Park, one encountered double risk. Only half of the stretch has been converted into cement road and street-dividers are just wide gaps where tyre of any vehicle can get stuck. Further, on one side of the road, rainfall filled the dug up portion that is not properly barricaded. At night, when power supply is often interrupted in monsoon season, these dup up portions pose a great risk to lives of road users.

Waterlogging also affected the road traffic near Khamla vegetable and fruit market. For, as had been pointed out by ‘The Hitavada’ in one of its reports recently, a diagonal wide cut into the road across Shastri Nagar bridge was never repaired. As feared, waterlogging took place there, and even the car drivers decided not to drive through. Two-wheeler riders had to find out another route to connect to Wardha Road or Ring Road.

Sadly, there were not many options left open. For, various junctions and internal roads also were waterlogged.
The woes of people using the narrowed down width of road near Gajanan Maharaj Mandir at Ambazari T-Point, worsened with the rainfall. Similar was the experience of people using the narrowed down roads, thanks to the ongoing work of Nagpur Metro Rail project. At various places, the mud started following the original incline of the road and the stream cut across the road portion in use. Bumps, unrepaired portions, potholes, side cuts of roads just made the road use nothing short of an ‘adventure’ for those driving four-wheelers or riding two-wheelers.

At several places, like the traffic junction near Kachipura Square, thanks to badly constructed ramps, waterlogging right at the spot where the ramps descended into junction made road users go through a hell of an experience. In Ramdaspeth area also, a wide cut serving the purpose of a street-divider, kept the road users alert while driving/riding. Else, they would meet with an accident or the lower portion of their car would get damaged.

As per the data with Fire and Emergency Services Department of Nagpur Municipal Corporation, the residents of Somalwada were facing problem of waterlogging due to choked drains in the area. The team of Fire Department was pumping water out of the areas to clear waterlogging.
Besides, the department officials said, two trees had fallen due to gusty winds and heavy downpour -- one near South Indian Temple in Ramnagar and another near Regional Transport Office in Giripeth. The control room of Fire and Emergency Services Department also received a call from Trimurti Nagar, Jaitala, Laxmi Nagar, Prashant Nagar and other places. In Reshimbag area, Sant Tukaram Maharaj Udyan also was waterlogged.



Fear in Ujwal Nagar as land caves in

The residents of Ujwal Nagar started shifting elsewhere
from their residences due to wrong design of Ujwal Nagar tunnel proposed by Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Limited (NMRCL) to connect Manish Nagar and Besa areas to Wardha Road.

Sources claimed that the land in Karve Nagar, Ujwal Nagar areas was sinking due to tunnel work. The tunnel work has created fear amongst people living in four appartment schemes and eight independent houses in the areas. They feared that compound wall and plinth of their houses might sink any time due to loosening of soil. Sensing danger to their houses, people have started shifting elsewhere from their residences. Their fear got escalated after heavy rainfall on Saturday and Sunday.

A Distribution Point of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) in Ujwal Nagar ground also came down due to collapse of compound wall of the ground. The feeder pillars also collapsed due to loosening of soil.