Urbanisation to blame for Chennai’s flood woes, integrated system need of the hour: Report

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What is the news?

If timely measures to put in place a flood management system are not taken, Chennai could see a rerun of 2015 floods, says Tamil Nadu government.

The state additional chief secretary had filed the report on the action taken by the government with regard to measures to prevent recurrence of flooding.

The report was in response to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) registering a suo motu case. The court had done, so after newspapers widely reported areas in the city being flooded in addition to an overflow of sewage November 30, 2020.

What are the findings of the report?

i). Encroachments, faulty drainage systems and tampering of natural course of water had made the megapolis prone to flooding every year.

ii). Rapid urbanisation of Greater Chennai and its peri-urban areas had led to massive changes in land use patterns, as residential areas had sprung up in farmlands.The changes in land use patterns were done without making the required changes for a proper drainage system to manage the flow of surplus water from traditional tanks as well as flood waters from catchment areas.

iii). Irrigation tanks in south Chennai were choked with waste, slush and debris, obstructing the flow of flood water. This also reduced the water-absorbing and groundwater recharging capacity of the marsh.

What are the recommendations?

The report has recommended an integrated flood management system consisting of:

an integrated road and street side storm water drainage network

straight cut diversion channels

macro storm water drains

check dams, barrages and anicuts

Source: This post is based on the article “Urbanisation to blame for Chennai’s flood woes, integrated system need of the hour: Report” published in Down to Earth on 24th Sep 2021.

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