The recent floods in Delhi have exposed the poor infrastructure, planning, and politics that have plagued the city for years. While many people initially blamed the rise in water level in the Yamuna River for the flooding, it became clear that the real culprits were the choked drains and the lack of preparedness by the Delhi government.
The responsibility for cleaning and maintaining the roads and drains in the city lies with various departments, including the Public Works Department (PWD), the Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD), the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), and the revenue and flood and irrigation departments. However, the majority of the responsibility rests with the MCD and the DJB.
Unfortunately, the MCD, which is now under the control of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), failed miserably in clearing the silt from the clogged drains. The mayor had made claims of having cleaned the drains before the monsoon, but the truth is that none of the committees responsible for sanitation and other civic services were functional.
The lack of functioning committees and the absence of a sanitation committee specifically meant that there was no organized effort to clean the drains. This failure of governance and administration is a result of petty politics taking precedence over the welfare of the city and its residents.
The issue of the election of the standing committee, the apex body of the MCD, is currently pending before the Supreme Court. The delay in the formation of these committees has led to officials making decisions through “anticipatory approvals,” which can potentially lead to financial malpractice and embezzlement.
Blame game continues
Furthermore, the blame game between the Delhi government and neighboring states, such as Haryana, over the release of water from the Yamuna River is counterproductive. It is unreasonable to expect a river in flood to be controlled, and blaming other states only deflects attention from the lack of preparedness and planning within Delhi itself.
In reality, the floods in the Yamuna River can have positive consequences. The excess water recharges the abysmally low groundwater stock in the National Capital and helps cleanse the river of the pollution that plagues it. However, this is only possible if adequate systems for preventing water pollution are in place, which is clearly not the case.
The recent floods in Delhi highlight the urgent need for better infrastructure, comprehensive planning, and a focus on governance rather than politics. The city requires a holistic approach that involves the cooperation of various departments, transparent decision-making processes, and a long-term vision for sustainable development.
Delhi cannot afford to continue neglecting its infrastructure and failing to prepare for natural disasters. It is high time that the government takes responsibility, ensures the proper functioning of committees, invests in robust drainage systems, and prioritizes the well-being of its citizens over political gains. Only then can the city hope to mitigate the impact of future floods and protect its residents from unnecessary suffering.
Here’s the latest videos of the apathetic state of India’s capital:
Flood has caused massive devastation in northern India, now has reached Delhi – Modi left for Paris! pic.twitter.com/I8eTMulhmo
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) July 13, 2023
Severe #flooding on #Noida sector 137 Roads. Stretch of around 10 Kms around sector 135,137,168 is affected. Road in front of Advante Business Park is full of water. Please avoid the route if possible.#delhiflood pic.twitter.com/q7kH5LeDcb
— Shivani Sharma (@shivanipost) July 13, 2023
— Rosy (@rose_k01) July 13, 2023
— Surabhi Tiwari🇮🇳 (@surabhi_tiwari_) July 13, 2023