Drainage master plan on paper as Delhi floods again | Delhi News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: An IIT-Delhi report that had recommended the Delhi Drainage Master Plan was accepted by Delhi government in 2019, but hardly anything seems to have changed on the ground.
Officials from the drain managing agencies argued that some of the initial steps had been taken, but the pandemic halted their implementation. The plan, which took almost a decade to be finalised, still remains largely on paper.
In 2009, the then lieutenant governor Tejendra Khanna had asked the civic bodies and all stakeholders to prepare a master plan for Delhi’s watershed and drainage system. “The last drainage master plan was finalised way back in 1976. A new plan must be prepared keeping in view the fast changing scenario of the city’s growth,” former CM Sheila Dikshit had remarked in 2012, while announcing that IIT-Delhi would be making the drainage master plan.
Now, almost nine years later, the master plan continues to be stuck, while the city keeps braving massive waterlogging due to even moderate spells of rainfall.
The team of experts from IIT submitted the draft plan in December 2016 and its recommendations were finally accepted in 2019. One of the major recommendations was restoration of the natural drain system of Delhi. Manoj Mishra from Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan said that 18 big natural drains, which had been identified in the 1976 drainage plan, were missing. “So much time, resources and money was used to prepare this master plan, but why is it not being implemented?” he asked.
“The natural drainage system is in a total mess and a single agency like Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) should be made responsible for managing the drains and implementing the master plan. The need for the storm-water drainage system to remain free of sewage and solid waste was also highlighted in the plan,” said Mishra.
Other key recommendations included separation of the sewerage system and storm-water drains, unified framework, laying pipes to take storm-water from the surface to nearby parks or waterbodies, among others.
Multiplicity of agencies and absence of a common framework has plagued the city’s drainage year after year. Ten bodies, including the corporations, PWD, DSIIDC, DDA and I&FC department manage over 3,700 kilometres of drains. A senior municipal official said several meetings of a chief secretary-headed joint committee had taken place, but the pandemic had delayed the implementation. PWD did not comment on the matter.

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