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Delhi drain survey still on, transfer to I&FC post monsoon | Latest News Delhi


New Delhi: A survey of 22 major drains in Delhi that have an outfall in the Yamuna has missed its deadline and is still ongoing, officials aware of the matter said on Sunday. They said that the survey is part of a move to hand over all 22 drains to the irrigation and flood control (I&FC) department to improve their maintenance and solve issues arising from a multiplicity of agencies overseeing them — a process that was set to be completed by May 31.

The move to transfer all 22 drains to the I&FC department comes in wake of a Delhi high court order dated April 9 to remove the multiplicity of agencies in handling these drains, with the court calling for a unified management of drains, and the removal of encroachments on the Yamuna floodplains to tackle waterlogging and aid river rejuvenation. (HT PHOTO (Representational Image))

The transfer is now likely to take place after the monsoons, the officials said.

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“As of now, all drains are being cleaned and desilted by the respective departments, and we are conducting joint surveys for mapping the dimensions and flow, demarcating boundaries, and checking the gradient and width,” said a senior I&FC official.

“After the transfer, the drains will be desilted and maintained by the concerned departments for a year and will be completely taken over by the irrigation department for maintenance from next year,” the official added.

A second official said that the entire process may take a couple of months more. “There are legacy issues for which we are conducting the surveys. Once the survey is done, there will be more clarity regarding the flow of these drains, which will also facilitate future upkeep and maintenance,” said the second official.

Delhi suffers from a multiplicity of agencies looking after its drains, with around 10 bodies responsible for 3740.31 km of stormwater drains. In some cases, multiple agencies are involved in the maintenance and operations of a single drain.

For example, the management of water regulators to stop backflow in case of a rise in the water level in the Yamuna is managed by the I&FC department, but the pumping of sewage at such times is managed by MCD.

The move to transfer all 22 drains to the I&FC department comes in wake of a Delhi high court order dated April 9 to remove the multiplicity of agencies in handling these drains, with the court calling for a unified management of drains, and the removal of encroachments on the Yamuna floodplains to tackle waterlogging and aid river rejuvenation.

Officials said that the handover of all drains to a single agency will help prevent a blame game between various bodies — a regular phenomenon. “It will also help in better planning to take measures to reduce pollution in the river,” the first official quoted above said.



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