Heavy downpour leads to waterlogging, disrupts life

Waterlogged Lal Chowk on Thursday. — Excelsior/Shakeel
Waterlogged Lal Chowk on Thursday. — Excelsior/Shakeel

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Aug 1 : An early morning heavy showers caused the worst water-logging in many areas of the city including the commercial hub of Lal Chowk where water entered into shops.
The accumulation of water on the major roads of city forced people to wade through knee-deep water to reach their destinations. The water entered the shops in the commercial hub Lal Chowk and shopkeepers were seen throwing it out with the help of buckets.
The residents lamented that a half an hour shower inundated the entire city and debunked the idea of turning the Srinagar into a smart city. “The rainfall started at around 6:30 am and within half an hour the roads of the entire city were submerged. The entire drainage system is defunct. How can they build a smart city? I think they are befooling us,” Amir Ahmad, a resident of Lal Chowk said, adding the problem of waterlogging appeared after 2014 floods.
A another local, Bashir Ahmad said the reason behind this waterlogging is the failure of drainage. “They are showing us the dreams of a smart city. Is this their smart city. It’s the main business hub. This has happened since the 2014 floods. The city is flooded with water every time it rains,” he said. Click here to watch video
Following the waterlogging, Mayor Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Junaid Mattoo admitted that the waterlogging was caused due to lack of proper drainage. “The silt that accumulated in the drains after 2014 is yet to be cleared. The silt has reduced the carrying capacity of the drain drastically. The steps which we took today are firefighting. They are temporary,” he said.
He asked the Government to release a special fund of Rs 1100 crores for the development of drainage network. “For the permanent solution, the drainage network has to be developed scientifically. For that Government need to release a special fund of around Rs 1100 crores in the drainage sector,” he said.
Passing the blame to the past Government, he said “the past Government has not cleared the drains in last five years which is a criminal act on their part”. “They should have cleared the drains first,” he said, adding that when they took over in 2014 they promised to clean the drains.
The waterlogging crippled the movement of residents at Posh Rajbagh and Jawahar Nagar areas of the city as well as low-lying areas like Bemina and Mehjoor Nagar.