Urban flooding

Urban flooding has become increasingly frequent in India’s major cities (Chennai floods, most recent in Hyderabad), with an increasing impact on life, property and increased incidence of tropical diseases.

Reasons for urban flooding

  1. More rains in short time puts stress on drains. Excess water gets logged in low-lying areas. 
  2. Unplanned urbanisation and encroachments of sprawling habitations in floodplains.
  3. Inadequate investment in drainage infrastructure and drainage planning
  4. Siltation of sewer lines
  5. Disappearance of natural water bodies (sinks)
  6. Increased concretisation of urban areas which prevents water to be absorbed by ground.
  7. Deforestation in catchment areas

Ways to address Urban Flooding

  1. Cities should be mandated to create a drainage master plan in line with their natural topography.
  2. De-siltation of storm drains effectively on a regular basis especially before monsoons.
  3. Rejuvenation of natural wetlands3. Vulnerability mapping of areas of cities which are low lying and prone to waterlogging and flooding should
  4. Use of permeable construction material in infrastructure creation, rainwater harvesting.
  5. Capacity building of institutions and voluntary groups involved in city planning.

As the incidence of extreme weather events due to climate change, there must be more focus on urban flooding. Guidelines laid down by NDMA for urban flooding should be followed by cities.

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