As the heavy rains battered the national capital region, the roads of Gurugram remained submerged for at least two days but Noida didn't face such problem at all. There were reports of water logging in Noida but not at the scale of Gurugram where cars were submerged and underpasses turned into rivers.
So, how Noida is doing better than Gurugram?
The answer lies in meticulous planning. The plots of Noida were sold only after construction of basic infrastructure like sewers, drains and storm drains.
Jagdish Khattar, a retired bureaucrat, was an officer with the Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation (UPSIDC) when Noida was being carved out, says the reason behind Noida being better is following the rules and meticulous planning.
"Forty years back when Noida was being developed, it was commissioned as an industrial town but later residential projects were also allowed. During its development, we made sure that each plot is sold only after there is complete basic infrastructure development. The rules were strictly followed throughout the city and as a result you can see no such water logging is reported," said Khattar.
"In Gurugram you can see the construction (of basic infrastructure) is still going on while the land is sold for development. Rest of the NCR cities are not developed like Noida," he said.
With over 7 lakh population, the city has 181 million litres per day (MLD) of water supply and it generates 72 MLD of sewage. Out of this 72 MLD, 70 MLD of sewage goes to sewage treatment plants. With lesser untreated sewage, Noida's sewers and storm drains remain ready for rainwater.
On the contrary in Gurugram, which has a population of over 10.14 lakh, the daily water supply is 393 MLD and its sewage treatment is not up to the mark which leaves over 80 MLD of untreated sewage in the drains. This untreated sewage gets mixed into storm drains and chokes the system.
Noted town planner Pradeep Kharbanda explains how and why Gurugram is facing such a problem.
"Gurugram is surrounded by Aravali hills and when it rains, the rain water runs down from the nearby hill toward the city. The city's soil is rocky and not porous enough to absorb large quantity of rainwater," he said.
Kharbanda said, "The situation has worsened as most of the city has been concretized with no space for rain water to be absorbed. This is leading to situation like we see today. With nowhere to go, the surface water will stay there."
Poor upkeep of storm drains and using them as sewer lines is also leading to water overflow from sewers during rains. In most of the NCR cities, sewer is mixed with storm drains defeating the purpose of storm drains itself.
"Poor de-silting and poor upkeep of storm drains also lead to such situation. The agencies need to keep the storm drains ready exclusively for rainwater. Mixing both sewer and rainwater also leads to unwanted pressure on sewage treatment plants. If we chalk out a plan and act on it on priority, the situation can be resolved," Kharbanda said.