It has been famously quoted by P B Shelly that if winter comes, can spring be far behind? Last year we have seen inundated Chennai because of its flash floods, every year we see Assam floating on Brahmaputra, Mumbai is also an annual phenomenon during the monsoon. This year, it has been a surprise when we see Vadodara, or a Meerut inundated. And not so surprisingly, Delhi roads will do a repeat. At the peak of the monsoon at the end of July, flooded roads, overflowing drains and blocked drainage will be a recurring site in the capital.
If we analyse, the causative factor of this recurring situation, ill planning and tardy mainitainence is at the root of the situation. Unplanned development has been the defining feature of the capital of Delhi except the parts which Lutyen’s himself designed. This unplanned growth has been prominent because of high scale of migration the capital post-1990 liberalization and privatization reforms, and thus a sudden surge in demands of habitation emerged. Due to this crisis like situation and hasty authority decisions, Delhi emerged as we see today with over 80% of area not adhering to the master plan of Delhi Development authority. Other factors other than this include, ill-reach of the municipal authorities who are mandated to check overloading drains and do a regular cleaning exercise. This has been omitted sometimes because of lack of funds, few times because of strikes and no-work days and nowadays because of
Other factors other than this include, ill-reach of the municipal authorities who are mandated to check overloading drains and do a regular cleaning exercise. This has been omitted sometimes because of lack of funds, few times because of strikes and no-work days and nowadays because of tussle between municipal authorities of Delhi and the Govt. of NCT Delhi. During all these tussles, the only victim is the citizen and residents of Delhi. Now let us examine, what is the effect of these inundated roads on the day to day life of the people here.
Although the sight of happy children rowing paper boats in the flooded water of such inundated streets and markets seems a very mesmerizing sight, it adds plight and misery to the people residing and working in such areas. It essentially creates hindrances to the movement of people and traffic, thus causing traffic jams and failure of engine machinery due to water logging. Moreover, this inundation leads to spread of communicable diseases such as cholera, malaria, dengue, hepatitis etc. whose incidence on children in more as compared to adults, and yes, we all know about the capacity of Delhi’s hospitals to deal with such epidemics. In addition, such urban floods lead to resurfacing of poisonous insects and snakes from the drains which can be extremely dangerous for life of the residents. Moreover, it disrupts all the market mechanisms and the cycle of demand and supply, thus causing general lack of supply of goods and essential goods and services, which has a potential to affect daily life of people. Thus, it is essential to find the problems, and brace ourselves up for the coming flash monsoon.
For this, the municipal authorities and the Govt. of NCT Delhi has a great role to play. They need to work together and draw a blue print to find out red alert points in the state by analysing the past records of the area. And then they have to chalk decentralised plans according to the basic requirements of a particular area consulting with the local representatives. All this has to be done on a war-room strategic basis, as time is limited for implementation. In addition to this, a general drainage cleaning exercise has to be done for all the districts of Delhi. Moreover, if lack of funds is there, then a special package shall be demanded from the central Govt. or such money can be raised through market linked bonds. Before all this, capacity building function has to be performed in the hospitals and in the municipalities to deal with an epidemic situation if any. Also, at individual levels, one can always prepare by keeping essential supplies at his home in case of an emergency. Also, one can check water retention at hollow storage spots to prevent any disease spread. And finally, people of a locality can meet and discuss about their local problems in the rainy season and prepare a suggestion plan to the authorities and demand for action accordingly.