Big cities need to upgrade water run-off systems

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Source: TOI

Relevance: Fighting the recurring issue of urban flooding

Synopsis: Upgradation of storm water drain designs and making storm water drain management a part of smart cities mission is required to fight the problem of urban flooding.

Background

Every monsoon after a few hours of rainfall our metros are inundated. This annual urban horror story is made worse by the fact that huge amounts of money are spent on desilting city drains every year.

Many blame unplanned urbanisation and construction on wetlands for water-logging. That’s true but it’s not a problem that can be fixed in a few months.

Suggestions

  • Upgradation of storm water drain designs: Some improvement is possible by upgrading storm water drain designs. Current design standards take into account only one- or two-year flood levels. This must change so that drains can cater to greater volumes of run-off from heavier showers in short bursts.
  • Make urban storm water management a part of smart cities mission: It makes sense to make  urban storm water management a part of larger infrastructure development policies such as the Smart Cities mission. Leaving this only to municipalities, which often lack the institutional dynamism to take on new ideas, is clearly not working.
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