From Minto Bridge to Haji: People die as Waterlogging continues to pose Problems

Three days ago a 56 year old man drowned while trying to manoeuvre his mini-truck through the waterlogged Minto Bridge. Identified as Kundan Singh, the man was driving a Tata Ace from New Delhi Railway Station to Connaught Place when he got stuck under the waterlogged bridge.

And now, an 18 year old boy died after drowning in Sarita Vihar in South-East Delhi on July 21, 2020. The body was recovered fire department officials near the Okhla Tank area. According to a senior police officer present at the site, Jal Board work was going on in the area and as a result water accumulated there. The national capital is continuously witnessing heavy downpour since Sunday, with mild rainfall on Monday in some areas. The deceased is identified as Amir, a resident of Haji Colony in Jamia Nagar.

This is the fourth such incident reported from Delhi after incessant rainfall. Earlier, an 8-year-old was found in South-East Delhi’s Jaitpur area, while a 28-year old man died after he fell in water at the Gandhi Camp in Amar Colony. The question of who is responsible for these deaths remains unanswered.

Reacting to this, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that no monsoon in the national capital is complete without a “bus stuck under Minto bridge” story. “Thankfully this year is no different,” he tweeted.

Ironically the story of getting a DTC bus submerged in Delhi’s Minto Bridge has repeated every year since the last decade. Named after former Viceroy of India Lord Minto, the colonial era bridge (which is approximately 90 years old) witnesses the same situation every year.

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BJP MP Gautam Gambhir took a dig on Sunday on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sharing several pictures of waterlogged roads after heavy downpour over social media. He tweeted, “सुना है लंदन-पैरिस जैसी सड़कों पर दिल्ली सरकार “Rain Water Harvesting” की योजना चला रही है! इसकी Advertisements देखने को कब मिलेंगी मुख्यमंत्री जी?” (I heard that the Delhi government is running a “Rain Water Harvesting” scheme on the London-Paris like roads! When will we get to see its advertisements, chief minister ji?)

“Chief Minister, please tell people today – what comes under the Delhi government apart from the advertising department? It has been six years since you have been chanting the name of Center and MCD,” he further tweeted in Hindi.

In response Chief Minister said it was not the time for a blame game over waterlogging in parts of Delhi as all agencies had been busy combating the coronavirus. The government announced financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh to the family of Kundan Singh.

Waterlogging is no new incident reported in Delhi. The picture is same in every monsoon and the blame game continues between MCD and the government of Union Territory as they happen to be from different political parties. Who will provide relief to Delhiites is still not known.

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