Rains, defunct drains submerge City
Srinagar, May 28: Most of the City areas including the busy main roads Saturday remained inundated in knee-deep waters amid rains and defunct drainage network.
SUBMERGED STREETS, SHOPS
Leave apart elsewhere, the main roads leading to the Civil Secretariat were waterlogged with no signs of respite throughout the day. The badly affected streets included the two lanes of the Poloview, Regal Chowk, the Lal Chowk, UCO Bank lanes, Dalgate and Boulevard. Besides, the Magarmal Bagh Road and Airport Road ahead also witnessed waterlogging.
Babademb, the vital link to Shahr-e-Khaas also remained inundated compelling the authorities to divert traffic through other roads.
The Boulevard and road ahead to Nishat also remained submerged. The problem was compounded by the under construction pipeline where trenches have been dug.
The traders at heritage market of Poloview complained of damages due to waterlogging.
“All shops have been inundated by incessant rains and merchandise worth lakhs have suffered damage,” the shopkeepers at Poloview told Greater Kashmir. They said the seeping of water inside shops belies the government claims of improving the City drainage. “The inundation has become routine during rains and the shopkeepers have to suffer,” they said.
The shopkeepers castigated the Urban Engineering and Environment Division for failing to dewater the lane after the accumulation of water. “The department only makes claims in newspapers about dewatering, but in actual they fail to give any relief to the people,” the shopkeepers said.
They urged the Divisional Commissioner, Naseema Lanker to personally monitor the situation and ask the concerned department to take immediate steps for dewatering the lane.
Due to the traffic diversion on various tracks, huge gridlock of vehicles could be seen at places like the Abdullah Bridge.
Many schoolchildren and office-goers couldn’t make it to their destinations in-time.
Complained Showkat Ahmed: “I couldn’t reach my office in-time as it took me over two hours to reach Rajbagh from Nishat.”
The pedestrian movement looked more difficult as most of the people rolled up their trousers to walk the knee deep waters.
“My sandals broke and finally I had to walk bare footed. Even the countryside people of primitive times must have witnessed better civic facilities than the inhabitants of this ignored City,” said a college teacher.
“It would be better if the government starts boat service on the City streets. On one hand people would be able to well face waterlogging and also the government would save money spent on so called macadamization which doesn’t even last a season,” she quipped.
TRAFFIC POLICE SPEAKS
The Traffic Police said it was helpless before waterlogging and didn’t find an alternative but to go for diversions.
The Superintendent of Police Traffic, Showkat Shah said since morning the traffic remained slow on the inundated streets.
“But as the waters didn’t recede and there was every possibility of break fail, which could lead to accidents, we had to temporarily divert traffic from the inundated roads,” the SP told Greater Kashmir.
Explaining his point, Shah said: “If the water seeps into the break drums, the breaks don’t work, so we had to take precautions.”
He asked the people to drive slow and more cautiously in waterlogged areas.
Besides the main roads, many a residential colonies remained submerged in areas like Bemina, Mehjoor Nagar, Natipora, Karan Nagar, Natipora and Hyderpora even as the waters continued to rise.
SOS FROM RESIDENTS
Some of the colonies along the Hyderpora bypass have been virtually cut off from rest of the City as no vehicles are able to ply their while residents find it risky to move out of their homes.
The residents of Gulberg Colony, Hyderpora where the water is around two feet high shot a SOS to the Divisional Commissioner asking her to get sandbags laid in the area.
“If the authorities can’t got for dewatering, they should at-least get the sandbags laid,” said some residents on phone from the colony.
The locals said with rise in water levels they couldn’t manage driving cabs out of the colony while it was “equally risky to walk on foot”.
Pertinently, for the past around a month, the area is waterlogged while the administration, as per the locals failed to come to their rescue.
They are more of a worried lot because several thefts have taken place there during waterlogging while police opines that submerged areas are more theft prone.
A similar SOS was shot by the residents of Firdousabad, Batamaloo who complained the water has started seeping into their houses.
“Two years ago, rupees one crore were spent on dewatering pump but it is yet to be connected to the power supply. This is ridiculous,” the residents alleged while asking the government to hold an inquiry into the matter.
Residents of Magray Mohalla, Old Barzulla said they can’t venture out of their houses.
An official in the City Drainage Division pleading failure said: “We had put the pumps to work but as it rained heavily the exercise couldn’t bring more of respite in the City centre and elsewhere.”
Besides, he said, ongoing work on drainage network added to the problem.
WATERLOGGING SINKS MARKET SALES
Due to the waterlogging, most of the markets in the City including the commercial hub of Lal Chowk Friday witnessed a dip of around 50 % in the sales, market Pundits opined.
Same was the scene at the adjoining markets like Hari Singh High Street, Residency Road, Lambert lane, and Regal Chowk where there remained a thin movement of customers.
President Lal Chowk Traders Association Mushtaq Bazaz admitted the market sales plummeted due to thin rush of people.
“Rains scuttled the business more particularly due to lack of drainage system,” he added.
“We did merely half the business of what we do on other days,” said a trader at Maharaja Bazar.
He said drainage problem often hampers the business during rains.
Pertinently many a potential shopper preferred to stay indoors due to the inundation and traffic jams.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 28 May 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 28 May 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 29 May 2010 00:00:00 IST
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