LUCKNOW: Heavy pre-monsoon rain on Thursday morning left nearly one-third of the city submerged in ankle- to kneedeep water owing to the tardy drain cleaning process by Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC).
The impact was felt across the city including in Hazratganj, Alambagh, Charbagh, Aminabad, Jankipuram, Jankipuram Extension, Aashiana, Gomtinagar, Gomtinagar Extension, Aishbagh, Shaktinagar, Munshipulia, Aliganj, Niralanagar, Daliganj, Mahanagar, Vikasnagar, Sitapur Road, Kursi Road, Sultanpur Road and many areas of Old City.
As feared, many parts of the city were deluged following the first pre-monsoon shower only because rainwater drains were not clean enough to flow out the water with the required pace. The LMC needs to work on war footing to identify areas where the problem was the worst and chalk out a plan to tackle the problem, otherwise the problem may turn worse during heavy rains in coming days.
Although LMC officials claimed that they had deployed several teams to pump out water from flooded areas, the problem occurred because the civic body has so far cleaned 90% of the 18,000km network of drains in the city, even10 days after the passage of the deadline.
While commuters had to wade through waterlogged streets to reach their workplace, potholed roads also tested the driving skills of two-wheeler and four-wheeler drivers. There were also complaints of silt left behind on the roadside by LMC workers after cleaning drains which flowed back or spilled onto the streets.
The impact was felt hours after the rain had stopped as some stretches had become extremely dangerous for driving due to sludge and garbage left behind by the receding water. In some localities, residents had to battle for hours to drain out filthy water from their houses due to overflowing sewer lines and clogged drains.
Satish Jaiswal, whose twowheeler got stuck in a pothole in LDA Colony’s sector D, said, “I couldn’t see the deep pothole on the waterlogged road and my bike got stuck and collapsed.” In Hussainganj, residents complained that water had entered their houses due to choked drains.
“We have been complaining for long, but to no avail. This happens whenever it rains heavily,” said Harish Mehrotra, a resident.
In Jankipuram, residents said that drains haven’t been cleaned for months. “With just a couple of hours of rain, the entire locality was marooned,” said Anupreet Kaur, a resident. “Not just waterlogging, several accidents also took place on waterlogged and broken roads,” said Aishbagh resident Vibhore Kumar.
Rochak Sinha, a resident of Niralanagar, said, “Like every year, this time also roads turned into rivers after heavy showers. Unless it is urgent, we do not step out of our houses because vehicles get stuck.”
Saurabh Biswas, a resident of Vishal Khand, said, “Owing to the faulty construction of railway underpass, it becomes difficult to go from Dayal Paradise crossing to Gomtinagar Extension. It feels like crossing a river.”
Aniket Sharma of Munshipulia said, “Civic workers cleaned drains in our area last week, but left behind silt, which flowed back to choke them again.”
Shaktinagar resident Sanya Verma said, “After water entered my house, we had to shift furniture to another room to prevent damage.”
Municipal commissioner Ajay Dwivedi said, “A dedicated helpline for all eight zones has been issued to report waterlogging in respective areas. All zonal engineers have been directed to ensure proper cleaning of drains so that water does not stagnate at a place.”