A Drizzle & Waterlogging! Street Flooded near New Drainage Opp Kankanady Market
Mangaluru: No matter which part of the City you travel to, the streets are still Flooded even though Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) or Mangaluru Smart City Ltd (MSCL) have spent Crores on New Drainage? Every time it rains, it floods. This year has been no different in spite of a spate of new measures — new master plans for drainage and sewerage systems, and several, monitoring and coordinating agencies put in place at different levels to monitor and prevent flooding.
The entire so-called Smart City city is prone to frequent flooding due to rain. No doubt City’s stormwater drainage infrastructure is in a dilapidated state. The multiplicity creates a coordination challenge and everybody passes the blame every time roads get waterlogged, Mangaluru City Corporation blaming Mangaluru Smart City Ltd (MSCL) or Vice Versa? Rapid unplanned urbanisation, increase in paved surfaces preventing water percolation, dumping of construction debris and garbage in drains, covering of drains by building ramps, parking lots and markets that prevent cleaning, and mixing of sewage drains with storm water drains are some of the other major issues.
It’s sad to note that even after decades of the city experiencing flooding during monsoons still, they have not found a permanent solution for this problem, which arises year after year during heavy rains. And in spite of constructing new drains, it looks like it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money since water is still oozing out of these drains onto the roads, creating havoc for motorists and pedestrians. Even though there has been quite a flooding in the City, the concerned authorities have turned a blind eye and it seems like they have not learned anything nor do they care to improve and rectify the problems- while the streets remain still flooded during heavy rains.
Among the other areas in the City, the flooding opposite the Kankanady Market near a newly built drainage shows how unscientific work is done. Every time it rains, the area gets flooded, and the shop owners express their woes since they lose customers who are not able to cross the waterlogging. What a shame, to see waterlogging right in front of a newly constructed drainage- blame should be put on MCC or MSCL, whosoever was in charge of this project.
So by the way, 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, stormwater 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.
Regarding the newly constructed drainage- most of them don’t have a proper beginning and a proper end – as a result, drain water overflows onto the streets. Poor planning and poor work, for sure. Also, culverts are not de-silted; puddles are not identified; no proper channels to drain rainwater in many parts of the city; also MCC says that solid waste management contractors have failed to remove garbage/debris-choked drains. Nothing but a blame game, and no proper solutions?
Whenever it rains, our City roads are thrown out of gear due to stranded water. Apart from adults and seniors, school and college-going students also face the brunt of the weather and flooded streets. Even though the heavy rains didn’t cause much damage or loss of life, it has caused panic and inconveniences to the commuters. Is MCC or MSCL doing anything to solve these ongoing flooding issues, even though it has built new drainages spending huge money on them?
In conclusion, encroachments, revenue layouts and illegal constructions, especially along stormwater 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 stormwater drain renovation and management projects pertaining to these issues need to be implemented soon.
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 for 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 officials and local MLA’s, MLC and other politicians are boasting about Mangaluru as one of the “SMART CITY” of India, it is time that they also put in some dedicated, sincere and committed “SMART” people to manage 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.
So the citizens should expect their plight to continue in the foreseeable future. Until the bureaucrats get their own act together, every time it rains, expect waterlogging and worse.