Delhi is known for its multiplicity of authorities. There is no dearth of stories on how much Delhi’ites suffer because of it.
The first street after the ITO Metro Station, running along the famous Central Revenue Building, is waterlogged almost round the year. The problem gets worse during the rainy season. Till the time, the area was without a Metro connection, it was clean.
The commissioning of the Metro line passing close by, a few years ago, brought additional load of dirty water to the street’s drainage from the Metro system. This resulted in the frequent collapse of the underground drainage, and the water overflowed. The overflow is so large that the entire street gets flooded and blocks the entry to the law book shops and stalls selling stamp paper and legal documents there.
Besides converting the whole street into a mosquito breeding centre, the place creates a foul smell. There is a heavy turnout of visitors to the legal paper shops and the nearby income tax offices during the months when income tax returns are filed.
The stall-owners are apologetic about the gutter flow in front of their shops. They said they approached the South Delhi Municipal Corporation under which the area falls, but it directed them to the Delhi Jal Board, which is responsible for maintenance of the underground drainage in the area.
The Jal Board officials told these people that the local drain had limited capacity and was unable to take the extra load from the Metro system. When it was pointed out to the Board officials that the drain could be linked to a big drain down the road, they said the big drain was the property of the Floods Department, and they were helpless.
When they were told to do something about the water flowing down from the main ITO Road, the officials said the road belonged to the PWD, and only it could help in this. Delisting was done but it helped only for a short while. The downpour recently brought the dirty drain water into the shops.
It is impossible to pass through the area, or park cars and other vehicles, owned by visitors or occupants of the stalls. The stall owners are wondering whether the grievance redressal system of the local government would ever take effective measures to end their misery. The area boasts of several important national institutions in the vicinity.