Amid the heavy rain, waterlogging and road cave-ins in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged all political parties on Monday to come together to help people, saying that it was not the right time to point fingers at each other.
“I want to thank all the leaders, ministers and MLAs including those from other parties for stepping on to the ground and helping the people out at this time. I know there are officials who were working all night to avoid any kind of mishap,” he said.
The chief minister held a meeting with his senior officers, cabinet ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj and Mayor Shelly Oberoi to review the situation in Delhi. “On July 8 and 9, Delhi saw 153 mm rain. The rain this year broke the record of 40 years. In 1982, it was 162 mm. So this was unprecedented rain and Delhi’s system is not designed to handle this much rain,” he said.
He said that in the last few years, rain exceeded 100-115 mm and every year waterlogging was reported. “These used to be cleared in an hour or so. But this is the first time Delhi has seen such unprecedented rain. That is why the public has to face problems this year,” he said.
Speaking about the increasing water level in the Yamuna, Kejriwal said, “At present there are no flood predictions for Delhi. We are constantly in touch with the Central Flood Control Room and flood experts. We are ready to tackle any situation. If the Yamuna water level rises to about 206m, we will start the evacuation process.”
There are 41,000 people living around the Yamuna in slums and jhopris. The government has made relief camps and all other arrangements for these residents, in case of emergency, said Kejriwal.
As it is still raining, potholes have and will be developed on roads, Kejriwal said. “Repairing potholes is not possible at present because of the rain. But we have taken a temporary measure to avoid accidents. The MCD and PWD have given directions to fill the potholes with stones,” he said.
The government has directed construction works to be stopped and all the drain lines opened. “Drains lines are closed when a construction work takes place. We have instructed officials to stop construction works and open all the drainage lines. Safai karamacharis have been deployed to keep the plastics out,” he said.
Kejriwal further said the government had also requested traffic police to increase the force at vulnerable points.
The chief minister said the NDMC had been asked to conduct a detailed study on why there was huge waterlogging in its areas. “This is not to blame any one, but just to check why this much waterlogging happened in the NDMC areas,” he said.
The government has also sought a report on the road cave-ins.