No Proper Drainage-Streets Flooded in City
Mangaluru: It has happened in the past, and its happening again…and again..and again- City streets flooded with rain water. If our past mayors and corporators,, present Mayor and corporators are boasting and being proud of constructing many new drainage, then why is that still water is flooded and stranded on streets, making hard for two-wheelers and pedestrians to move around. The massive downpour has once again exposed the poor drainage system in Mangaluru. Roads, drains and even houses in some areas were flooded, causing tremendous inconvenience to movement of people and traffic.
Why does this happen? Fundamentally, the existing infrastructure and drainage system in the city cannot handle the excess water whenever there’s a downpour. Originally, storm water drains in the City were designed in keeping the water stored- They served the purpose so long as the population of the city was within a certain limit. The unprecedented growth of Mangaluru, unaccompanied by the necessary infrastructure, has precipitated problems of a large magnitude. The city drainage system comprises major drains, roadside drains and shoulder drains, all of which get overburdened during the rainy season.
It’s not just the drains but the design of roads that play a part in controlling floods. Roads must be designed based on the run-off of storm water. City drains can hold up to 45 mm of water per hour, not over 100 mm, as it happens now and then. As a result, rainwater that has no space to drain out. There are also other reasons for flooding, caused mainly by a lack of maintenance of roads, drains, footpaths and sewer lines. Rainwater accumulates in potholes and depressions on roads and drains out at a very slow pace, which is further compounded by lack of proper connectivity to storm water drains.
Another important factor relates to silting up of drains because of which much of the rainwater, which should be carried by the drains, overflows on to the streets. Further, water logging leads to clogging of sewer lines, thereby causing sewage to mix with storm water. Poor waste management also contributes to flooding – garbage, plastics and polythene bags are thrown into drains and obstruct the smooth flow of water. Water flooding which takes place every year near City Centre Mall is no exception this year too, with water stranded up to knee level. How about flooding near Jyothi Circle, Bendore-well, Fish Market area, Bunder, etc etc-the flooding is at every nook and corner.
Encroachments, revenue layouts and illegal constructions, especially along storm water drains and in low-lying areas, are other major causes of flooding. These problems are common to all cities in India and are not peculiar to Mangaluru. In fact, coastal cities like Mangaluru face bigger problems, virtually every monsoon. What’s required is a comprehensive approach to the problem, which essentially involves putting in place a sustainable drainage management system as in developed countries. A storm water drain renovation and management projects pertaining to these issues need to be implemented soon. In the meantime, risk assessment of vulnerable areas must be carried out and corrective measures taken to minimize them.
Be it the impact of climate change and global warming or something else, we must be prepared for changes in temperature and untimely rain and floods. As the city grows in population and sprawl, there’s a need for concerted action on the part of city planning and civic agencies to tackle the problem of flooding, which can not only damage the physical infrastructure but has serious implications on the safety and security of the people. Building a good drainage system should form a part of the Mangaluru Master Plan , which is lacking terribly. While the City is still struggling hard to be selected (after being flunked twice in the selection) as one of the “Smart City” of India, it is time that the MCC officials put in some dedicated, sincere and effective work in the development of the city- and also make sure that the drainage and footpaths are constructed to the standards, which will benefit the citizens of Mangaluru. If not it’s sheer waste of tax-payers money on these projects which are incomplete and non-usable.