Dwarka: A storm that came during the morning hours on May 23, 2022, seems to have exposed the reality of residents’ safety in Dwarka. Flying tin sheds, artificial roofs and fallen trees on the roads, and damaged and uprooted streetlight poles by the storm told the story of how the lives of the people are at risk in any such a scenario. Although no damage to lives was reported yet there were cases of damage to vehicles and minor injuries to people.
Sharing a photograph of a heavy tree fallen in her society, Anjana Sinha, RWA President, Dwarkadheesh Apartments, says, “It was scary. First, there was the wind and then the sound of a tree falling on a car. It could have caused a risk to life. Now, the point is to understand what should be done to stop to minimise damage or protect the trees from falling suddenly. I observed that heavy canopies and irregular pruning can cause trees to fall more often during storms. Apart from this, neither the civil department nor the civic bodies bother to leave space around trees which makes it more dangerous.”
According to an official from the DDA Horticulture department, about one hundred well-grown trees were affected badly during the storm. Says he, “Trees are uprooted and damaged badly. We have been busy clearing the roads and removing the trees there. Till today evening hopefully, all will be cleared.”
Residents of various sectors and societies have shared numerous photographs of the damage done by the thunderstorm. These include pictures of uprooted tin sheds lying dangerously in the area. Apart from the trees, many electric poles were found uprooted or inclined. Residents are alleging authorities of mismanagement.
CitySpidey found one such dangerously inclined pole (after the storm) at Crescent Chowk where a fully grown tree was also uprooted.
Madhu Dagar a social activist and member of the managing committee of Crescent Apartments Sector 18A says, “Authorities like DDA, SDMC and electrical department must be proactive. They should monitor the condition of trees and electric poles so that those which are weak or damaged at the roots, or which seem tilted to one side, can be taken care of. This could prevent them from falling during strong winds. Thus, minimising danger on roads during rainstorms.”
Streetlight poles under South Delhi Municipal Corporation(SDMC) inside DDA pockets also fell during the storm and rain. Such poles have damaged certain vehicles too. Residents alleged that those poles which are old and rusted and damaged at base got broken and fell damaging the parked vehicles. President of RWA, Dwarkadheesh Apartments, Anjana Sinha shared some videos and photos to CitySpidey to show the situation. “Who is responsible for the damage to cars. We have been asking the SDMC to look at the condition of poles for a long time, but they don’t take this matter seriously,” says Anjana.
Residents of Dwarka shared their concerns with authorities on WhatsApp groups. They posted pictures of the damage and expressed their concern for the safety of the people. “If you look at the fallen trees on the roads, you would realize that they did not fall due to the storm but due to poor management by the Horticulture department. The roots of the trees were weak and it was only possible if not looked after properly. I hope the authorities concerned learn something from this storm,” says Mahesh Gupta, general secretary of RWA, DDA SFS Sector 5.