Pune: Viman Nagar Citizens Claim Pre-Monsoon Checks Not Carried Out By PMC As Ramwadi Underpass Floods Frequently

Pune: Viman Nagar Citizens Claim Pre-Monsoon Checks Not Carried Out By PMC As Ramwadi Underpass Floods Frequently

Pune: Viman Nagar Citizens Claim Pre-Monsoon Checks Not Carried Out By PMC As Ramwadi Underpass Floods Frequently

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On 4th June, after torrential rains, the Ramwadi Underpass had accumulated enough water to submerge a car.

6 June 2024

By Khushi Maheshwari 

The stormwater drainage system installed in Kalyani Nagar in Pune underwent a trial after a heavy downpour on Tuesday, 4th June. After the torrential rain, the Ramwadi underpass was massively flooded with sewage water. Enough water had accumulated to submerge a car. 

Unfortunately, as severe flooding resulted from significant rains, the shortcomings of the system were glaringly exposed. There was evidently a breakdown in the stormwater infrastructure as water rushed into residential areas, flooding occurred in the local streets, and the Ramwadi underpass was swamped.

The convenor of Nagar Road Citizens Association, Qaneez Sukhrani, has repeatedly reached out to the concerned authorities via email. In her consistent emails she has highlighted the absence of Standard Operating Procedures and a lack of checks done before the monsoons ascend upon the city. 

She said, “Every year, we citizens see deadlines being set for Pre-Monsoon Preparedness which are never met. Streets & roads gets flooded and waterlogged, potholes become deeper, layers of road surface disappear, garbage is not cleaned from streets and from riverbanks but pile-up, deep cleaning of nullahs is not done, storm water drains and chambers are in poor shape, or there are no storm water drains at all, hoardings & skysigns crash down, etc. There is a long list that an ideal Administration should do but is not doing.” 

The issues of waterlogging, flooding that have plagued Nagar Road were reportedly brought to the attention of the civic body on multiple occasions: on 11th May 2024, 12th May 2024, 13th May 2024, 15th May 2024, 28th May 2024 and latest on 5th June 2024. Although the Ramwadi Underpass was declogged on the night of 4th June itself, as per the vice chairperson of TSKN, Drayson Dixon, similar flood-like situations are bound to occur as monsoon progresses. 

According to another citizen activist, Advocate Aarti Ratanlal Sonagra, the stormwater infrastructure is so incompetent that many areas including the Viman Nagar Chowk get flooded even after light showers. She also stated that many-a-times, the duties of the Corporations have had to be executed by the traffic police. Raising concerns, she remarked, “Will the traffic police control traffic or clean the drains? I have seen some police officers cleaning the drains as and when the PMC failed to deliver on its duties.” 

The issue will certainly become graver as the intensity and frequency of the rain magnifies. Talking about a more concrete redressal of the issue, Qaneez points out, “All administrations are failing in their duties and responsibilities to tax paying citizens. Why can’t they have year round SOPs which will allow them to cope without shirking responsibilities?”