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Amritsar

Posted at: Jul 21, 2019, 7:37 AM; last updated: Jul 21, 2019, 7:37 AM (IST)DRAINAGE AND WATERLOGGING

Covered drains cause clogging

Residential, industrial effluent discharge has increased in city over the years
Covered drains cause clogging
A brief spell of rain left several roads waterlogged in the city on Saturday. Photo: Sunil kumar

Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, July 20

In the name of development, the government has covered almost all of the open drains in the city. Some of the drains are natural while many were dug during the British rule to drain rainwater out of the city. Experts say that the covering of the drains has now become an obstacle in disposal of rainwater. Even a two-hour downpour is enough to submerge many roads for four to five hours in the city.

There are two major drains surrounding the city. Tung Dhab passes through its periphery and another is the City Outfall drain. The former is located in the north while the latter is in the southern part of the city. The merger of both drains near Khasa is known as Hudiara drain. From here, the drain heads to Pakistan where it is known by the same name. The drain alongside the outer ring road is being covered by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to construct a service lane for a six-lane project. Another main drain, parallel to Saufutti Road, has been covered from the Tarn Taran road to GT Road for road construction.

The purpose of these open drains is to carry rainwater, but over the years these have been made to carry domestic and industrial waste.

In the absence of any check, residential areas and industries have emerged alongside the open drains. Residents dump domestic and factory waste in the open drains. Local politicians have forced the government to cover these drains to get votes from people living near the drains.

Now, almost all the open drains in the city are covered. The MC and the Amritsar Improvement Trust have spent crores of rupees on covering of drains in the city.

Prof Kulwant Singh, a resident, said, “In the absence of proper care, the drains first turned into sewage-disposal nullahs and later the banks of these water bodies were encroached upon by people. Several open drains have now turned into roads on the demand of people. Same areas are now facing the waterlogging issue even after moderate rain. What kind of development is this?”

Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu said, “Learning from the past, we will not cover any drain. We will try to cover the drains with net to save them from filth.”

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