Heavy Rains Expose Srinagar's Drainage Woes: Public Demands Action

Heavy Rains Expose Srinagar’s Drainage Woes: Public Demands Action

Srinagar Swims: Dilapidated Drainage Drowns City After Rains

Srinagar: The much-hyped Smart City initiative faced a litmus test as heavy rains over the past two days exposed the city’s defunct drainage system, leading to widespread waterlogging and chaos in various areas. Major flooding was witnessed on important thoroughfares, including the Boulevard Road and Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) area.

Boulevard Road transformed into a flooded path, creating major disruptions for both pedestrians and commuters. The continuous rains transformed streets into flowing streams at Bemina, Jawahar Nagar, Khanyar, Goji Bagh, Ram Bagh interiors, Natipora, Mehjoor Nagar, Padshahi Bagh, Nowgam, and other areas.

Vehicles were stranded, and shops became inundated, causing inconvenience to residents, traders and commuters alike. Residents expressed frustration over the unpreparedness if authorities for such weather events, despite drainage system being part of the Smart City initiative aimed at modernising urban infrastructure.

The flood-like situation near underconstruction flyovers at Nowgam and Bemina hampered the movement of commuters, who found themselves stranded on the roads amid waterlogging. “I was on my way to work when my car got stuck in waterlogged road near Bemina flyover. I had to abandon it and wade through knee-deep water to reach the office,” said Faisal Mir, a commuter.

“This is a recurring problem that the authorities seem to be turning a blind eye to. Where are the smart solutions they promised us under the Smart City project?” questioned Shabir Ahmad, a resident of Bemina while pointing towards waterlogged and dilapidated road in the locality.

Traffic jams intensified on major thoroughfares, with a resident reporting that it took nearly half an hour to travel from the inside colonies to the main street due to heavy traffic and waterlogged roads. SE Drainage, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Sajad Kawoosa told that they have deployed men and machinery and they are actively working on the ground.

He said that they have installed 85 dewatering pumps in different areas of Srinagar, and 97 dewatering stations are functional. “I am currently in the field and monitoring the situation. Our men and machinery are working hard,” he said. “We have 97 dewatering stations with the capacity to drain 21 crore litres of water per hour. Also 127 mobile pumping units, including small and large units. Large units are used in flood-like situations,” he said. Kawoosa said that the Boulevard area comes under LCMA but still they have installed men and machinery to clear the area.

Meanwhile as the Srinagar roads and residential areas were flooded with waterlogging on Monday, several people took to social media to vent their resentment over what they termed as failure of authorities. As Srinagarites woke up to the flood-like situation, commuters, pedestrians, and local residents used their smartphones to highlight waterlogging and dilapidated roads.

Scores of internet users shared the videos of waterlogged Boulevard Road, blaming the poor execution of projects. The netizens pointed out that even tourist hub areas like Boulevard are not maintained properly. “Condition of Smart City Srinagar on famous VIP Boulevard Road Srinagar. This is the outstanding level of IQ of our smart city engineers,” an X user sarcastically wrote.

Raja Muzaffar Bhat, another netizen and social activist, while sharing the waterlogged roads of the famous Nishat Mughal Garden, said “they have choked road and areas is flooded. What kind of smart city is this,” he said in the video.

Later, in another video, authorities were seen digging the footpath along the famous Boulevard to make way for water into Dal Lake. Umar Rashid, another netizen, shared the video of flooded roads at Natipora area of Srinagar. Many users commented on scores of such videos, expressing their resentment against the failure of drainage. “Welcome to Smart City where drainage chokes after hours of continuous,” Deeba, a netizen wrote while sharing another video of flooded Srinagar roads.

As scores of users vented their frustration on the failure of authorities, others used humour to highlight the issue. The social media was flooded with memes and funny videos about the situation. In one such recent video from Srinagar, a netizen was seen using paper boats on running rain water on the roads. “Many paper boats were used on the roads of ‘Paper’ smart city to facilitate the commute of locals,” a local sarcastically said on the video.

Some netizens used famous meme pictures, videos, and songs to highlight the issue in their own way. The Srinagarites said that contractors, engineers, and officials should be held accountable for failure. “Do you think the failure of such contractors or engineers is making the public face problems,” another netizen posted a question on Facebook.

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