Overflowing drain in uptown Natipora sends sewage gushing out with every rain

Overflowing drain in uptown Natipora sends sewage gushing out with every rain

Srinagar: Unfinished work on a drainage project in uptown Natipora locality of Srinagar has meant that a few hours of rain turn into a flood-like situation in this area.
The work that began three years ago was never completed by the Urban Environmental Engineering Department (UEED)—putting thousands of residents and commuters in difficulty during every downpour.
“We fear for our lives when rainfall leads to a sudden deluge outside our homes,” said Ghulam Rasool Dalal, a resident of Shah-i-Jeelan Colony in Natipora.
He said the drain was made functional in 2016 with huge fanfare but local residents were shocked to learn that it was running without a proper pump station.
“This is why the backflow of the drain is flooding our area,” Dalal said.
The residents have requested top officials including Deputy Commissioner Srinagar and Chief Engineer UEED to solve this issue. “They seem to have ignored our plight as no concrete steps have been taken by them so far,” Dalal told Kashmir Reader.
Another resident, Mushtaq Ahmad Shaheen, blamed the “unscientific nature” of the drain for the frequent flooding in the colony and in adjacent localities like Iram Lane.
“In 2016 when the drain was being constructed, some people in the neighbourhood opposed the project. The government was planning to make its outlet close to their houses. So, they didn’t allow the construction. It forced the engineers to find alternatives,” he explained.
Shaheen said the “modification process” adopted by engineers failed, probably due to lack of supervision.
According to him, the contractor was asked to dig deep as per the new plan but the contractor didn’t work as per the modified design and left the work incomplete.
“This drain cannot function without a sewage pump as one outlet of the drain was constructed at a higher level than the inlets,” he said.
Residents said that the situation turned deadly during the recent incessant rains when some shopkeepers closed the manholes because sewage was overflowing on to their shop fronts.
Shopkeepers in the locality said that the authorities had not planned the work properly, leaving manholes open and blocking the drain at several places.
“They created a mess out of this project and left all of us suffering. We are losing out on customers as the overflowing sewage stinks like hell. Officials should have removed the solid waste to allow smooth flow of water. But as it was not done, the water in the drain has become a mess,” said Waseem Ahmad.
Residents and shopkeepers said they would stage a protest if the pump station did not start working.
Superintendent Engineer (SE) Azad Beigh admitted having received complaints regarding the drain. However, he said, he was not aware of the present status of the project.
“I had conveyed the issue to the concerned Executive Engineer as soon as I received the complaint. He should have done the needful. I will enquire from him again,” Beigh said.
Asked why the pump station was not working, he said that he would visit the locality himself and direct the Mechanical Division to look into the complaints.
“I will visit the area myself and try to solve the issue,” he assured.