From Drought to Floods

Reports S.K.Khanna
Only a couple of months back, the country was facing a drought situation with nearly 300 districts affected by it. Today as many as 13 states are facing the fury of Rain Gods. Big cities seem to be wallowing in misery beset with water-logged streets and roads leading to traffic snarls. Three hours of down pour was enough to bring the Millennium city – Gurgaon to its knees causing ripple-effects in Delhi. Elsewhere, incessant rains pounded cities and brought life to a standstill—all these pointing out a serious neglect of proper urban-planning loss caused and urban hydrology. The death toll from floods sweeping different parts of the country has crossed above 300. Lakhs of people have been displaced with thousands of houses being washed away. The economic loss could be significant due to daily traffic jams and water logging. Droughts and floods are here to stay, given the challenge of climate change and we have to learn how to deal with these and particularly improve our archaic road repair and maintenance and up keep of drainage system. Regular repairs and maintenance of roads, rebuilding and retrofitting our drainage system, storm-water drains and sewage disposal outlets and expanding their capacities is the need of the hour. With two more months of monsoon yet to go, instead of indulging in a blame-game, all have to explore innovative ways and means to tackle nature-fury—droughts or floods. Simultaneously, mindless construction activities in and around towns and cities with water bodies lost to real estate, need to be rationalized with time tested norms of urban planning, its proper implementation and fixing accountability for shoddy outcome.

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