New Delhi: In an embarrassment to BJP, a new railway underpass in West Delhi constructed by party-ruled Municipal Corporation was flooded after slight rains on Saturday just before it was inaugurated by Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.
The 652 m-long Mundka-Ranikhera underpass built at an overall cost of Rs 51 crore with the Indian Railways sharing Rs 15 crore, was formally opened to the public today by the BJP leader at a function organised n Mundka village in ward No 30 under Narela Zone of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
While Swaraj, after unveiling the inauguration plaque installed at the beginning of the pass, immediately left the venue, people who later wanted to use the new facility, had to wade through water to go to the other side.
Before the BJP leader arrived at the venue at about 12:30, heavy showers lashed the area for about 20 minutes, flooding the underpass and leading to chaos at the function.
As many among the gathering rushed to take cover, the organisers called the rains "as a blessing from the heavens".
Speaking on the occasion, Swaraj recalled the services and legacy of ex-Delhi CM Saheb Singh Verma, who she said "connected villages to bigger cities".
"He was born here (Mundka) and his legacy seems to be carried forward in the BJP workers here. BJP is indebted to Saheb Singhji for bringing not just respect but also love for our party from the people," Swaraj said.
She said, she was "happy to inaugurate the project" she had laid the foundation stone for about three years ago.
As rain disrupted the function, the BJP leader quipped, "theth dehat ki hoon. Dhoop, dhool main to roj khelti hoon. Aur barish hui to kya hua, koi chui mui todhe hi hoon ki gal jaoonge (I am from a typical village. I play in sun and dust every day. And, so what if it rained today, I am not so tender that I will be affected by it)".
While Swaraj made light of the weather, the sight of water logging at the newly opened underpass did not go very well with the local people, some of whom even alleged that "the project had been opened before its completion".
"The project was opened before time because of the coming assembly elections. But, look at it, fifteen minutes of rain and it is already waterlogged," Suraj Bhan (63), a local resident and a retired government servant, said.
North Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor Azad Singh, Leader of the House in NDMC Mahender Nagpal, Standing Committee Chairman Ram Kishan Singhal were also present on the occasion. Senior BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra was also present at the function.
Swaraj also opened a primary school building for boys and one for girls, built at a cost of over Rs 2.5 crore between them, NDMC public relations officer Yogendra Singh Mann said.