Pune: Pre-Monsoon Drainage Cleaning Delayed in Pimpri Chinchwad, Raising Flood Concerns

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Pune, May 31, 2024: Pimpri Chinchwad City, which boasts 144 small and large drains, faces delays in the pre-rain cleaning of its drainage system, heightening concerns of potential flooding. Despite ongoing efforts, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has fallen short of its May 31st deadline, just ahead of the anticipated onset of rainfall on June 1st. Although the PCMC’s Health Department asserts that 90% of the drainage cleaning has been completed, the pre-monsoon preparations progress sluggishly, leaving the task unfinished.

Annually, the PCMC initiates the cleaning of drains, streams, rain drains, and channels as a preemptive measure before the monsoon season. However, in recent years, the corporation has consistently failed to meet deadlines, even after the monsoon commences. Pimpri-Chinchwad city’s 144 natural drains, varying from 2 to 11 meters in width and spanning 100 km, feed into the Pavana, Mula, and Indrayani rivers. These open drains are prone to accumulation of garbage and waste, leading to narrowing and blockages. Consequently, rainwater struggles to flow smoothly during monsoons, exacerbating existing levels of river pollution.

When rainwater stagnates instead of draining away, it poses risks of flooding, inundating residential and commercial premises. PCMC Commissioner Shekhar Singh convened a meeting on March 22nd, instructing the completion of drainage cleaning by May 31st to forestall monsoon-related flooding. Regrettably, the deadline was missed. Unseasonal rains have occurred four to five times in the last fifteen days, further impeding drainage efforts. Nevertheless, the PCMC’s Health Department insists that 90% of the drains have been cleaned. With timely rains expected this year, the health department faces a daunting task to expedite drain cleaning.

Additional Commissioner of PCMC, Vijaykumar Khorate, stated, “The drain cleaning work is nearing completion across all PCMC ward offices. We are employing JCBs, Poclain, and Spider machinery for cleaning, and documenting progress with before and after photographs.”