New Delhi: The city government was today directed by the Delhi High Court to form a committee of senior officers to evolve a mechanism for desilting drains to prevent waterlogging during monsoon season.
A division bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Vipin Sanghi said the panel set up by the government should have in it the officers from various authorities including the Public Works Department (PWD), the trifurcated Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), besides the Irrigation Department and other concerned authorities.
The bench directed government`s Standing Counsel (Civil) Najmi Waziri to inform it within a week about the structure of the committee and posted the matter for September 5.
The bench also said the government may also include experts from IIT in the committee.
"All the heads of corporations and stake holders, including experts, should be in the committee so that every time people don`t have to rush to the court on the issue of waterlogging," the bench said adding "the committee should hold frequent meetings for short term measures to address the problem of waterlogging."
The court, meanwhile, summoned the DJB chief executive officer to appear before it on the next date of hearing as no counsel for the department was present in the case.
The civic body claimed long-term plans were there as per the Master plan 2021 to solve the waterlogging problem.
The bench was hearing a bunch of petitions, including that of NGO Nyaya Bhoomi, for launch of contempt proceedings against various civic body officials for their alleged failure in complying with the court`s July 11 order.
The court had directed the officials to take steps to end the problem of waterlogging in the capital within 15 days.
It had given the directions while adjudicating two PILs, filed by the NGO and advocate Gaurav Bansal, seeking steps by the government to address the problem of waterlogging in the capital.
One of the petitions had claimed MCD and PWD have done nothing significant after 1998 to properly desilt drains and this was causing waterlogging on major roads even after the slightest of rain.
Giving a list of 41 waterlogging-prone areas here, the petition referred to a response received under an RTI and said affected areas included Ashram Chowk, South Extension Part-I, Mathura Road, ISBT Kashmere Gate, RTR Marg near Moti Bagh flyover, Siri Fort Road, Dhaula Kuan underpass and underpasses around Dwarka.