Wading through the muck on submerged streets and cussing the entire world in Gurgaon and parts of the NCR earlier this week, the realization struck many a resident that we are bit fragile beings living at the mercy of nature, not to mention a corrupt, venal, inefficient and uncaring system of public administration. All hell broke loose in Gurugram when it recorded the highest single day of rainfall rain in eight years with a record of 128 mm coming down on 28 August.
The newly built underpass at the Hero Honda Chowk was under water within an hour of the rains starting, commuters to and residents near Cyber City were literally swimming to safety as water collected to over 10 feet in some compounds as drainage and sewage systems are virtually non-existent. Commuters on the Delhi-Gurugram Expressway commuters faced a harrowing time stuck on the roads with traffic jams lasting over three hours in some places. Many schools were forced to declare a day off not so much because of the much-needed rain but because of the abysmal lack of preparation for it.
The Millennium City, as the fantasists have termed Gurugram, with its canopy of high-rises, is the perfect example of unthinking urbanization. Water bodies have been reduced to a total of just two acres, several bundhs on the Rajokri-Manesar stretch were filled up during the construction of Delhi-Gurugram Expressway, underpasses built to ease traffic have no proper pumping facilities and putting in place an efficient groundwater recharge system is apparently an alien concept for planners. Rampant construction activity has choked drains over the years. Perhaps we should just let Gurugram sink into the quagmire it has created for itself and then rebuild it from scratch. Too direij Well, what is the alternativeij