Rains submerge Srinagar parts, expose poor drainage system

JK Bank

Srinagar: Light to moderate rainfall Thursday caused water-logging in most areas of Srinagar thereby exposing the fragile drainage system of summer capital and tall claims of the district administration.

As the rains lashed Srinagar for few hours majority areas of the city witnessed heavy water logging making it difficult for people to move from one place to another.

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According to reports, early in the morning several roads, by-lanes of the city were under water, causing immense hardships to the public. “It was difficult for the commuters to walk on various city roads even the commercial hub Lal Chowk, Residency Road and MA Road here literally remained deluged,”

People blamed the district administration and Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) for failing to upgrade the drainage system in the city which often leads to water logging as soon as there is a downpour.

Water logging was witnessed in City center Lal Chowk, Residency Road, Polo View HSHS, Babademb, Jawahar Nagar, Badami Bagh Cantonment, Umarabad, HMT, Mustafa Abad, Qamarwari, Samander Bagh, Bemina, Mahjoor Nagar, Batamaloo, Khanyar, Maisuma and many other places.

Mohammad Ismail, a commuter at Koker Bazar told that the administration has failed to improve drainage network in the city. “Authorities have turned deaf ears towards this issue of grave importance. Water logging has badly affected the business as customers are not able to reach the shops they intend to,” he said.

He alleged that there is not even a single lane in the city, which is not waterlogged.

People in different parts of City were seen up in arms against the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) for failing to reach out to the waterlogged areas especially Lal Chowk which caused inconvenience to commuters, drivers and shopkeepers. People were seen treading through water-logged roads while traffic movement also slowed down due to the inundation.

Another local said district administration has not learnt any lesson from the devastating 2014 floods.

Inhabitants of Mustafaabad and Umarabad also complained of water logging in the area, despite implementation of government sponsored AMRUT project in the area.

They said the defunct drainage system in the area has led to water logging and often the drainage water enters their houses.

At some busy and important junctions including Regal Chowk, the pedestrians preferred to hire auto-rickshaw to cross the roads.

The problem was compounded by defunct drainage system in various areas. The choked drains, according to locals led to water logging in various city localities.

The state government had taken hundreds of drainage schemes in Kashmir over the years. Most of them could not be completed due to “lack of funds and coordination” between various departments. “The Roads and Buildings department has been constructing roads in various areas without ensuring drainage system. The restoration of drainage system and road macadamization should have been done simultaneously,” the official said.

The drainage system in the valley, especially in Srinagar city, was badly hit during the 2014 floods. The Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDD) has not been able to restore it permanently.

One of the officials of the SMC said that to avoid water logging, they had placed several pumping stations in use and installed mobile pumping units across the city.

However the officials of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation told that there is “poor drainage” system in Srinagar.

They said that there are some places that face water logging because of poor drainage system and unplanned constructions. (KNS)