Urban Floods in Tamil Nadu- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 1: Salient features of world’s physical geography– Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclones, etc.
- GS Paper 2: Governance, Administration and Challenges- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Urban Floods in Tamil Nadu- Context
- The ongoing spell of heavy rain in Chennai, Tamil Nadu has again exposed the vulnerability of the city, a coastal metropolis with flat terrain, to floods.
- It again raises questions about the Government’s preparedness to deal with the northeast monsoon.
Urban Floods in Tamil Nadu- Associated Issues
- Repeated Flooding: Despite stormwater drains and waterways running to about 700 km being cleared in the last four months, no tangible improvement was seen in the problem of inundation.
- No significant improvement and learning from the 2015 flooding: Though there is no significant rainfall in these past few days, many parts of the city are inundated with the floods.
- Issue of Poor Drainage: In a large urban setting such as Chennai, drainage problems are created due to-
- Shrinking open space,
- the gap between the coverage of the drains and that of sewer lines,
- Ageing drains and sewer networks in core areas of the city, and
- Encroachments or obstructions hampering the free flow of water.
Controlling Urban Floods- Way Forward
- Maintaining the Rivers and other water bodies: The city is blessed with a few rivers such as the Cooum and the Adyar, apart from a number of canals including the Buckingham Canal.
- All these water bodies, if properly maintained, can be very effective flood carriers, sparing several residential localities from inundation.
- Find long-term solution: Determination to find a long-term solution to the urban flooding problem should not wane during the non-monsoon periods.
- Role of Common People: The people residing in the city too should be responsible enough in ensuring that the water bodies and drains are not turned into dumps.
The State Government, which is executing a couple of integrated stormwater drain projects, should look for durable solutions to the city’s long-standing woes and execute them in a short span of time.