By Muneer Shamee
Global challenges and trends of India and world have changed considerably in recent years. Our urban areas are developing and expanding posing the risk of flood in the plain surfaces. In the last decade there has been huge flood events around the cities like Mumbai, Hanoi, Jakarta , Senegal as well as in the various countries. From 2000 to 2019 flood and storms in Asia and Pacific region results in billion and billion of wealth loses. An average of 20 Typhoons is expected every year with utmost intensity, activities in this region grossly effecting the GDP. In addition to the social impact and tragic loss of life, economic disaster and destruction which have long term consequences. Flood can be caused by heavy rainfall by melting of snow over a period of time submerging the land that are usually dry.
Urban Floods occur in the densely populated areas caused by rainfall overwhelming capacity of cities. Urban flood is different from rural flooding as Urbanisation leads to develop significant increase in food intensity and volume within the matter of units. Urban flood impacts large resources and densely populated cities and towns, those living in vulnerable area suffer a lot, often causing death, threats of epidemic, loss of building and properties, loss of systematic education, closure of economic opportunities, spreading of contagious disease with limited nutrition and disruption of daily activities. Ever increasing urbanisation in the big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai as well as in the states like Gujrat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Chattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal and hilly districts of Kerala. The situation worsens due to higher concentration of people and illegal developments in flood prone areas.
Extreme precipitation events are on the rise in India due to participation, global warming and change in monsoon patterns in India. Natural disasters like floods are being exacerbated by unplanned township, global warming and environmental degradation depriving millions of people’s from their abode. Due to precipitation there has been three fold increase in flood since 1950. By precipitation we understand any liquid or frozen water in the atmosphere that falls back to the earth surface. uneven and enequal rainfall makes the farmer desperate on one hand as their crops are washed away by excessive rainwater. Flash flooding, snow melting, storm water are the cause of urban flooding which are further enhanced by the lack of drainage system in the populated area. Canals having less capacity to drain water are overflooded alongwith the sewage wastes accumulated in the residing area. Drainage water or water from sewers and sinks make it contaminated and polluted easily. Developed cities have excess of pavements and roads which slows down the flow of during cyclone or monsoon rain. Encroaching the natural streams, ponds which serves absorbing water and percolation of water is favouring urban flooding. The drainage system which is not clear, presence of more and more water in surface area enhance flood causing poultries to be washed away by heavy flow of water.
Floods are called climatic emergency. Bare land have no outlets of water flow as a result it overflows over the roads, passage instead of drains . We haven’t managed well planned cities in reality the low lying lands are flooded continuously during summer floods. Many of us doesn’t hesitate to label them natural occuring phenomenon but we failed to realise man’s inefficiency and ineffectiveness in controlling the situation. Flow of rain water should be channelised. Water bodies like canals, riverbeds, lakes, channels, rivelets should be cleaned regularly so that the water doesn’t overflow in the plain surfaces. Development of building in the low lying areas should be controlled or prevented. Scientists claim that there has been no change in the precipitation in the recent times. It is convenient to blame it as a climate change instead of man’s negligence. Managing the storm water we have failed miserably. Proposed buildings or sites should be effectively managed and maintained. Effective sewers management with regular cleaning should be done regularly. Urban Floods disrupts our daily life and activities. Roads are overflown, blocked and people are stucked in their places. Water harvesting measure should be implemented. Scientific hydrology balancing wisdom and experience of farmers must be implemented. Afforestation, construction of dams, interlinking of major rivers which was the vision of our former president APJ Abdul kalam should be affectively implemented.
(Muneer Shamee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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