11 Dead In 2 Days After Heavy Rain Batters Delhi, ‘Orange Alert’ Issued

The national capital Saturday reported six rain-related deaths, taking to 11 the toll in the first two days since Monsoon hit the city, even as authorities said they have taken strong measures to prevent waterlogging in the coming days when heavy rains have been forecast.

Two boys drowned in a waterlogged underpass in northwest Delhi’s Badli on Saturday, police said, adding the stretch was flooded following heavy rains the previous day.

In Okhla, a 60-year-old man died after he got stuck with his scooty in a waterlogged underpass. Digvijay Kumar Chaudhary is a resident of Delhi’s Jaitpur.

On Saturday morning, the bodies of three labourers were pulled out from the rubble of a wall that collapsed at a construction site in the Vasant Vihar area here amid heavy rain the day before, officials said.

With six deaths reported on Saturday, the number of people killed in rain-related incidents in Delhi has climbed to 11 in the past two days.

Monsoon arrived in Delhi Friday morning. The national capital recorded 228.1 mm of rainfall on day one, the highest since 1936 for the month of June.

The India Metrological Department (IMD) Saturday issued an orange alert for Delhi, predicting heavy rainfall for the next two days.

According to the IMD, 8.9 mm rainfall was recorded between 2:30 pm and 5:30 pm at the Safdarjung observatory, the city’s primary weather station, and 12.6 mm at the Lodhi Road observatory.

Moderate rain is defined as rainfall amounting to between 7.6 and 35.5 mm in a day, and heavy rain is defined as rainfall amounting to between 64.5 and 124.4 mm in a day.

The IMD issues four colour-coded warnings — “green” (no action needed), “yellow” (watch and stay updated), “orange” (be prepared) and “red” (take action).

Heavy rains on Friday caused waterlogging in many parts of the city including the Pragati Maidan tunnel which remained closed on Saturday as well. The draining of water from the tunnel was still underway and it is likely to be restored for operations late Saturday night, according to PWD officials.

An official in the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) said the civic body has ramped up manpower deployment to handle waterlogging complaint, and is monitoring areas falling under Lutyens’ Delhi through CCTV cameras.

NDMC Vice-Chairman Satish Upadhyay said they have deployed four additional pumps on a standby basis at Golf Links and Bharti Nagar which witnessed excessive waterlogging on Friday.

“Three super suction machines mounted on vehicles will keep patrolling the vulnerable areas. We have also deployed additional staff and cancelled the offs of all employees.

“Each vulnerable area has been placed under one superintending engineer who has staff with them to address issues. The NDMC central command and control room will monitor all vulnerable areas through CCTV cameras,” Upadhyay told PTI.

According to the NDMC, superintending engineers are now overseeing operations at vulnerable points to ensure timely interventions.

“We will ensure 24-hour monitoring through CCTV cameras. CCTV cameras are in place for continuous monitoring of vulnerable areas,” another official said.

According to PWD officials, all waterlogged spots except the Pragati Maidan Tunnel have been drained. Officials in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) said that their central control room is working for 24 hours.

An official said that mobile pumps of different capacity, super sucker machines, earth movers and other machines have been deployed at various locations where waterlogging was found or reported through dedicated 24×7 zonal control rooms of MCD.

“In total, 72 permanent pumping stations were functional and working as per requirement, in addition 465 mobile/submersible pumps of different capacity were made available to clear waterlogging. Manpower was adequately deployed also in tandem with machines for quick and sustained release of water,” he said.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, meanwhile, inspected the city’s most severely affected areas and drainage systems to assess the damage and oversee remedial measures, an official statement said on Saturday.

Accompanied by Chief Secretary cum Chairman NDMC, Commissioner MCD, Principal Secretary PWD, and other senior officials, Saxena inspected the drains at Taimur Nagar, Barapulla Drain, ITPO, Tilak Bridge, Kushak Nallah, Golf Links, and Bharti Nagar, it said.

During his visits, Saxena found all these drains heavily choked with garbage, debris, and sludge, leading to severe flooding in various parts of the city, the statement read.

Parts of Delhi received rainfall on Saturday morning. Rohini and Burari were among the areas that received rain. Delhi recorded a minimum temperature of 28 degrees Celsius.

Extreme weather events are happening in the national capital, as weather experts noted that during the entire Monsoon season, Delhi receives nearly 650 mm of rainfall.

On the first day of heavy rain this season, the capital received one-third of its total Monsoon rainfall on Friday. 

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