Urban Flooding

This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  RahulRasalan 2 years, 7 months ago.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
  • #1686

    Dr Haroon Ashraf

    While Tamil Nadu was declared drought-hit early this year, Chennai fears a recap of 2015 urban floods. Discuss the solution to urban flooding in India.

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  Dr Haroon Ashraf.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by  admin.






    Dr Haroon Ashraf

    As Chennai fears a recap of 2015, Tamil Nadu was declared drought-hit early this year.

    Many parts of India suffer flooding every year during the annual monsoon rains from June to September. The northeast monsoon has been particularly vigorous over southern India and more so in Tamil Nadu state, of which Chennai is the capital.

    The floods are warning signs for India’s growing cities that are expanding with the expectation that nature would adjust to accommodate the need for the city to grow.

    The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs report on the 2015 Chennai floods recommended the need to bolster disaster preparedness. The committee said that the problem of urban flooding is likely to escalate in future, citing examples of Mumbai, Srinagar and Chennai.

    The disconnect with nature is also manifest in the failure of planners, builders, administrators and even common people to fathom the sheer power of natural events.

    But much of the city has grown without a plan and with no regard to water flows, and without anticipating extreme weather events.

    Then there’s illegal construction which flouts all the norms in the air. There are more than 150,000 illegal structures in the city, according to the city’s municipality. More than 300 tanks, canals and lakes have disappeared. Many of the constructions were done on reclaimed marsh which was earlier ways for water flow.

    Following a government order exempting educational institutions from needing to obtain clearance for construction activities, the National Green Tribunal last January rejected a petition to stop construction of new buildings on the campus – but restrained the institute from felling trees without permission, as required under Indian law.

    After the first intense downpour in mid-November, discarded plastic washed into rivers by rainwater was pushed to sea by the swollen rivers. Plastics are virtually indestructible. What doesn’t get washed out to sea tends to accumulate in water channels and stormwater and sewage networks, impeding and even blocking flows.

    Rainwater drainage systems in the past were designed for rainfall intensity of 12 – 20 mm. But the average rainfall in Indian cities far exceeds the capacity of the drainage system. The designed system capacities do not work due to poor maintenance. Encroachments are another big problem in many cities and towns.

    Climate change has accelerated the issue by haphazard rain cycles in one are while drought in another area.

    We can find the solutions to urban flooding from the parliamentary committee report. The committee recommends that the guidelines prepared by NDMA should be scrupulously followed and they should also review town planning of each city by giving due importance to clear flood channels, proper drainage, safe passage to excess water in lakes, other water bodies, desiltation of the river bed, removal of illegal encroachment.

    The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issued guidelines on the management of urban flooding in 2010. Key guideline was to create a National Hydro-meteorological Network. The guidelines say that for providing early warning, the Central Water Commission (CWC) should maximize the real-time hydro-meteorological network to cover all the urban centres in dealing with urban flooding. The requirement should consider all cities/ towns which are particularly located on river banks, upstream and downstream of major and medium dams and island cities. Based on that assessment, CWC will initiate the process to prepare a plan and implementation strategy.

    So Key Points Should be:

    • Planning in advance
    • Desilting Rivers
    • Cleaning up of the drainage system.
    • Mapping the water flow channels and create new drainage/reclaim encroached drainage etc.
    • Rework the city development plans.
    • Protection of marshes and other wastelands.
    • Solid waste management to prevent blockage of drainage
    • Rainwater harvesting
    • Planting trees and developing gardens
    • Constructing other structures to prevent a sudden flow of water into the city or to divert the water.
    • Planning and implementation of future construction plans with environmental concern.

    Dear Liosaa,

    ‘Insufficient drainage’ will be more appropriate than lack of drainage system in the opening remark. I hope you understand the meaning.

    Rest of your answer is good. The only objection I have is in the first point you have placed. The construction aspect could have been merged with check dams and could have been placed and 3rd or 4th point instead of the first.











    Dr Haroon Ashraf

    Dear Rahul’

    The answer is good in an overview. Can get sufficient marks to get through. But try to include more points and write each point concisely to reach a doubtless rank.



    Thank you sir for your valuable comments. This motivates me to improve on my writing and gives a boost of confidence.


Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.