Addl Inputs: Designing Cities for Floods

Many of our cities as outlined in the LocalCircles Swachh Bharat survey struggled with water logging this year. Below are your key inputs on what should be done to better design Indian Cities for Floods. Please review them and share any additional specific inputs you may have.

Swachh Bharat Mission

Designing Cities for Floods

1. Ground water storm drains must be redesigned and made precisely operative
2. Cue should be taken from countries like Netherland which is located almost at the sea level
3. If the end of the rivers and canals flowing through the city are connecting with the sea, the entrance has to be dredged properly to ease the flow in to sea
4. Construction in any new locality should be allowed only after the area is cleared for safe draining of rain water is ensured
5. Corporation should make sure that garbage and debris are not dumped near the inlet of the water bodies
6. All rivers should be desilted regularly in order to increase the capacity of water accommodation
7. Emergency evacuation plan should be designed for the low lying areas
8. Connecting the rivers and nallahs must be done so it takes the excess water immediately to other areas, where water level is less
9. Prepare cities for emergency water transport
10. Build self-contained multi storied housing colonies with sufficient community facilities
11. Teach civil defence, life-saving, first aid, NCC/NSS in every school
12. Make high-grounds and community shelters for every 1000 population
13. Roads need to be designed for minimal water clogging
14. Have a good emergency response system in place so people and agencies are able to communicate
15. Move electricity and phone cables underground so it is not affected by floods and cause shocks or disrupt connectivity
16. Educate people on Emergency management process - ensure people stock up on essentials when heavy rain or other disasters are predicted
17. Schools, marriage halls, stadiums, community halls etc. should double as emergency relief and sleeping areas for people that are displaced. more  

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Today all the actions are taken on adhoc methods and the designs are done by the local authorities. The projects are decided on the political compulsions than scientific methods. we need proper scientific analysis of the programs and technical persons like universities should design the requirements. Court should be strict in controlling the measures to take care of the public and water bodies from being misused. They should be on top of any political pressures and instill a fear among the government service providers. more  
Immediate action is taken to desilt the existing ponds, lakes and temple tanks and the storm water drains are to be designed to discharge to the ponds /lakes. The contour maps prepared during the pre-independence period should be advantageously made use of to design proper storage and utilisation of water at the time of need. All the Govt. lands, now occupied unauthorised especially the lakes and ponds are to be got evicted and programmed to achieve the objective. This will reduce the cost of repairs and rehabilitation at the time of floods. more  
- Deforestation should be banned. - Mangroves should be protected - Jungles and forests should be protected and cutting of treas should be stopped - Illegal construction should be totally banned in fragile areas. - Sand mafia activities should be stopped immediately as they are destroying river beds and the natural flow of the river water. - more  
- Building new drains is not a viable situation - Cleaning up and maintaining old drains is viable. - Construction over storm water drains need to be removed and the obstacle of the drains should be removed. - All illegal drain outlets into lakes, nallas and other water bodies should be immediately blocked. - All new storm water drains should be built large enough to allow for large volumes of water. - Rain water had a natural flow through roads, lanes and bylanes. But buildings have been constructed and walls and ramps have been constructed blocking this flow. This puts a huge strain on the storm water drains as they are meant to cope with a flow of water and not a huge build up of water. - These ramps on roads and off pavements should all be removed. - The dividers on roads should also have small passageways for the water to flow as the road divider itself creates water logging. - even pavements block access to storm water drains. - When roads are built the storm water drain covers are not realigned but are usually placed much higher than the surface of the road thus blocking water access. - Many storm water drain covers are broken and in a lot of places garbage has been dumped into them - Walls that block roads should provide access for water flow. - Nallas should be covered to ensure that garbage is not dumped in them. - Sewerage and industrial waste should not be allowed to flow into nallas. - Industrial waste should flow into septic tanks. Block all such pipes. more  
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