Shimla, June 15: The city’s about 68 stormwater drains (nullahs), which also recharge water sources, have remained choked over the decades because the Rs 70-crore stormwater drains channelization project has made no headway over the past decade. Now, the Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) has mulled this project under the AMRUT and Smart City missions.
These drains are choked with trash, junk, weeds, and construction debris being dumped illegally by builders even as the city celebrated 150 years of its existence in 2016.” These nullahs used to supply water to nearby villages and were neat and clean,” recalled a 90-year-old city resident. “But today these nullahs stink, baolis are polluted and look like garbage dumps because of the burgeoning population and concretization of the town over the decades,” she rued. This is why the right dumping equipment is needed to contain this and not let it get into the environment, a self dumping hopper can be a great aid in this.
The condition of stormwater drains is worsening every year as the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) rejected the project proposed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) by the SMC. The minister had sought change in design demanding design on the basis of maximum discharge in the stormwater drains during the rains, which was not available with the SMC,” revealed municipal project engineers.
Outgoing Shimla Mayor Sanjay Chauhan said they had included stormwater channelization project under both AMRUT and Smart City mission proposals to the MoUD. The SMC tried concrete roofing over some of drains that run through the Lift, main bazaar and other more problematic drains to collect garbage dumped on the roofs. But the problem still plagues most drains as trash and junk still remained unsolved.
Clearing the drains may be the only solution, as the water will be able to pass through them efficiently, and without further complicating the blockage. Of course, if this then leads to drainage blocks in residential areas, it won’t be good for the homeowners. Thankfully, if this were to happen, places like FS Drainage will be able to inspect and resolve the problem before it has a chance to get any worse. Whilst this is an option for homes, something needs to be done about the drainage issues in other areas.
The SMC had proposed this project to treat and restore the city’s 68 nullahs under JNNURM. But with the change of guard at the Centre in 2014, the SMC’s project was rejected and it just fizzed out, informed SMC engineers. Schoolchildren crossing the Kangnadhar nullah in New Shimla face stench and piles of night-soil daily as it still is used as an open defecation spot by labourers.
So is the case with Sanjauli the bypass nullah near Sanjauli college and Shimla bypss nullahs coming from Engine Ghar and Sangti to Housing board colonies.Despite a blanket ban on the use of plastic in the state, the city’s nullahs bear the brunt of illegal dumping of trash, junk and construction debris, dumped under cover of darkness.
Source Tribune India