The overflowing rivers and heavy rains are not the only reasons behind the issue of urban flooding; the problem is magnified due to the uninformed ways in which our cities are coping with urbanization. Elaborate. Also, mention the National Disaster Management Authority guidelines on urban floods.
About 33% of Indian population lives in urban cities at present. Lately, the mega cities have become more vulnerable to floods, e.g. Chennai (2015), Hyderabad (2019) and most recent, Bangalore (2022).
Link between Urban Floods and Unplanned Urbanization:
- Urbanization is neglecting natural contours of the land. It is difficult for water to drain away easily.
- Storm water drainage infrastructure is weak due to lack of funds.
- Encroachment on wetlands is depriving cities of buffer against floods.
- Concretization of cities reduces infiltration of water into ground.
NDMA guidelines on urban floods:
- Early Warning system must be strengthened, by increasing lead time and utilizing latest technology like Satellites and Artificial Intelligence.
- Implementing zoning regulations sincerely. No construction should be permitted in flood prone areas.
- Amending model building by-laws to ensure flood resistant houses are built.
- Capacity building of local community, so that they can manage flood shelters.
- Raising and training state disaster response force battalions for effective rescue.
Natural disasters rob the poor of their assets and savings. Governments bear burden of rehabilitation. Therefore, urban floods should be addressed on war footing.