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Reliability and timeliness are two essential requirements of successful detection of critical events in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). The base station (BS) is particularly interested about reliable and timely collection of data sent by the nodes close to the ongoing event, and at that time, the data sent by other nodes have little importance. In this paper, we propose Congestion and Delay Aware Routing (CODAR) protocol that tries to route data in congestion and delay aware manners. If congestion occurs, it also mitigates congestion by utilizing an accurate data-rate adjustment. Each node collects control information from neighbours and works in a distributed manner. CODAR also puts emphasis on successful collection of these control information which eventually provides desirable performance. Experimental results show that CODAR is capable of avoiding and mitigating congestion effectively, and performs better than similar known techniques in terms of reliable and timely event detection.