Open house: What steps should be taken by the authorities to prevent waterlogging during the monsoon? : The Tribune India

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Open house: What steps should be taken by the authorities to prevent waterlogging during the monsoon?

Make preparations in advance, remove lacunae in amenities

Open house: What steps should be taken by the authorities to prevent waterlogging during the monsoon?

Monsoon brings with it the problem of severe waterlogging and calls for making arrangements beforehand.

Prevent plastic waste from clogging drains

The problem of waterlogging in cities during the monsoon season dates back a long time. The authorities are not seriously concerned about the problem and are therefore unable to prepare better for the rainy season. The foremost step they should take is to provide effective drainage system in the city. Secondly, they should ensure repair of roads by filing potholes and ditches. Lastly, they should ensure that no plastic waste or log wood is being thrown in open areas in any part of the city.

Sanjay Chawla

Question for next week

Frequent and long power cuts have become a nuisance for city residents. What steps should be taken by the authorities concerned to check unscheduled power cuts, especially in the searing heat?

Suggestions in not more than 200 words can be sent to [email protected] by Thursday (June 13)

Check illegal constructions

Summer is at its peak and will continue to be so till the monsoon puts a brake on the intensity of heat wave in the coming days. With showers moderating the weather, the hazy environment too improves. Naturally, the arrival of monsoon provides relief to all living beings and vegetation from the extreme climate conditions, but the torrential rain sometimes give rise to a host of problems too. Various kinds of infrastructure are found to be crumbling and waterlogging becomes a serious problem in many cities of India. The condition becomes worse when roads and streets are broken and several potholes appear due to the poor quality of construction, which is often compromised by the contractors in connivance with officials of the Public Works Department. Likewise, the water disposal channels get clogged even after a mild rainfall, as they are neither properly laid nor timely repaired by the drainage department. As a consequence thereof, traffic snarls at various places caused by unorganised development and broken roads become a routine experience. This causes hardships to the commuters and poses severe risk to life and property of the residents living in nearby localities. Besides, the stagnant water and garbage thrown here and there create environmental issues and give rise to viral diseases. To check the recurring problem of waterlogging, the authorities need to take urgent steps prior to the advent of rainy season. While it should be ensured that all drainage outlets and sewers are in good shape and properly reinforced, unauthorised urbanisation has to be curbed. The government must also tackle illegal encroachments on lands marked for water disposal. All ongoing construction works ought to be completed well before the monsoon season, and no excuse like incessant rains, sudden deluge etc should be tolerated to cover up the delay. Accordingly, all infrastructure development contacts need to be invariably substituted with suitable maintenance clause, while the officials shifting blame for the lapses or delay due to vagaries of nature should not be spared for any negligence of duties assigned. As of now, rainy season is only a few weeks away and immediate action on proper upkeep of infrastructure involving drainage outlets and sewers is ardently required to prevent waterlogging and subsequent inconvenience to the public.

Nirmaljit Singh Chatrath

Take proactive measures

Managing waterlogging during the monsoon season in urban areas has been a persistent challenge. To address the issue, authorities must take certain proactive measures. This can include maintaining storm water systems by ensuring proper drainage through regular cleaning and repair before heavy rains. Additionally, conducting inspections of public properties to identify potential hazards, monitoring pooling of water and promptly addressing any drainage issues is important. Taking pre-emptive actions such as clearing clogged gutters, trimming loose branches of mature trees, and removing clutter and debris from streets, open areas and around properties can help minimise damage during storms. Additionally, banning the manufacturing and public use of polythene bags can prevent clogging in drains. Using wire mesh covers for road gullies can also significantly reduce the problem by allowing only water to enter the drain. The working performance of local body authorities should be streamlined by discouraging political patronage and interference, linking job promotion and salaries with performance, proper supervision, and penalising the corrupt. Furthermore, urban planning with mandatory rainwater harvesting and ecological considerations, along with discouraging illegal occupation of land near water bodies, is essential. Efforts to improve rivers, seasonal streams and drainage channels through desilting, widening, straightening and clearing vegetation and debris can greatly enhance flood conveyance capacity. Strengthening river embankments by constructing ripraps, dykes or spurs, as well as planting deep-rooted trees, are also important steps to mitigate the impact of waterlogging.

Dr Kulwant Singh Phull

Forewarned is forearmed

The saying, ‘if winter comes, can spring be far behind’, has another parallel, particularly in Punjab. If summer comes, can rains/monsoon be far behind? Of course, extreme weather events cannot be predicted with precision for they can strike anywhere, anytime with the severity and ferocity recently witnessed in Dubai. Such natural disasters apart, routine preparations against the regular, seasonal rains help manage the surface overflow of rain water fairly well, notwithstanding the inevitable inundation of low-lying areas. We cannot change the natural level of the walled city which was founded on a low lying 'Dhaab'. In fact, it has been our cultural practice in the countryside to provide a fresh layer of mud on thatched roofs during May-June, as preparation for the rains. Even in cities, people try to plug up fissures in the terrace and shape up rain pipes. Seen in this context, huge heaps of garbage and plastic bags lying here and there and everywhere pose a real challenge, because heavy and incessant rain will float them into sewer lines and create flood-like situation of our own making. As such, the Herculean task of desilting all such channels should be taken up on a war footing because much time has been wasted during the 'Model code of conduct' period preceding the elections. Residents, on their part, should minimise the use of very thin plastic bags and help in their proper disposal. 'Fortunately', there is no Municipal Corporation as yet, and the administration is free from vested interests that usually try to make money out of delays. Monsoon is expected to reach Amritsar in the first or second week of July.

Prof Mohan Singh

Create underground drainage grid

The drainage system should be proper on roadsides. Waterlogging can be seen on the roadsides during the monsoon, this problem can be a great hindrance for the public. Sometimes, it creates big obstacles in driving vehicles on the roads. Traffic can witness jams. Accidents can happen. The state government should find a suitable solution before the beginning of the monsoons. Constructing an artificial, open and underground drainage grid can help prevent waterlogging. Moreover, pits can be made along both corners of roads. The state government should give instructions to the authorities concerned so that all arrangements can be made to solve the problem of waterlogging on the roads.

Sucha Singh Sagar

People should also own responsibility

Monsoon brings with it the attendant problem of waterlogging, resulting in severe hardships for the people. Even a moderate spell of rain for half an hour floods the roads because of defective and inadequate sewerage. The flow is obstructed due to clogged sewerage and results in overflowing of manholes and backing up of sewerage in the houses. Monsoon is approaching fast and the city roads are full of craters and potholes, with chances of accidents very high. The Municipal Corporation should be ready to take all this in its stride. To avoid any casualty, sewer lines should be cleaned and clogging should be checked properly before the onset of monsoon to keep the flow of water smooth, the city should be cleared of debris because everything will go in the sewerage, resulting it blockages. Moreover, it is necessary to prevent serious health hazards that the public at large has to face. The municipal authorities should take strict action to eradicate the problem of waterlogging. They should awaken from deep slumber and take concrete steps to clean the drainage. The city roads should be cleared of heaps of garbage, ditches and potholes should be cleared. Residents also need to be watchful and careful. We should also not escape from our responsibilities and blame only the government machinery.

Shashi Kiran

Promptness on part of civic body needed

Quite often, the solutions to certain resurgent problems remain old world-like and waterlogging is one of those pet civic peeves, rearing its ugly head every monsoon, with drainage clogging at its root, and sewerage maintenance-repair as the remedial catalyst in streamlining the rainwater discharge system. Considering the declining groundwater table in the state, the authorities may opt for hitting two targets with one arrow, programming a simultaneous rainwater recharge-cum-drainage system, through filtration technique. Furthermore, ensuring green town planning, by limiting concretisation and fostering plantation may go a long way in tackling the monsoon nuisance for commuters. Thus, being proactive and promptness on the part of administration is the only way out, else the public should gear up for traffic jams, accidents, dilapidated roads, cave-ins, erratic water supply, diseases and other ramifications on account of official dereliction of duty.

Anshika Kohli

Regular sewer cleaning a solution

The discharge capacity of old sewer lines was fixed as per the population of the city in the past when the estimates were framed, but with the expansion of cities and rise in population, these sewerage lines do not now seem to be equal to the task. It is pertinent to note that on one side of the roads, sewerage lines are laid and on the other, water pipes are installed. The need of time is to increase the capacity of sewerage lines as this seems to be a long process. The Municipal Corporation should regularly keep cleaning the sewerage lines round the clock and similarly remove the slush from the sewerage chambers. Regular cleaning of sewer lines is the only remedy to deal with the menace of waterlogging during the monsoon season. Heavy rains really upset the smooth flow of waters in the sewerage lines which results in waterlogging. As in the past, there were ponds in the city which used to get filled during the monsoon season and the rain water used to run from streets to the ponds. With the ponds vanishing, the only way for the exit of rain water is through the sewerage lines as the concrete roads fail to soak water and the rain water fails to seep through. The chambers of road gullies in the cities should be cleaned and the mud removed from these road gullies for smooth clearance of rain water.

Rajat Kumar Mohindru

Clean drains, install additional pipes

Waterlogging is a major issue that causes a great deal of trouble every year in India, particularly during the monsoon season. Heavy rainfall often leads to flooding, which can be a nightmare for people living in households near the drainage system or gutters. The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that the Indian government often fails to adequately prepare for such situations, leading to insufficient measures to control the situation. As a result, people are left to deal with the consequences of waterlogging, which can include damage to property, disruption of transportation, and increased health risks due to the spread of water-borne diseases. Despite the government's efforts to address the issue, more needs to be done to ensure that communities are better equipped to manage the effects of heavy rainfall and reduce the risk of waterlogging in the future. For this, a certain number of ways can be adapted by both the government and the people. One of the key steps to prevent waterlogging in the city is to devise a clear and comprehensive drainage clearing system that operates monthly. This system should ensure that the gutters are thoroughly cleaned throughout the year to enable the free flow of water and prevent any type of blockage in the sewer, especially by polythene. In addition, the administration can take measures such as building rainwater harvesting centres and wells near areas that are prone to heavy rainfall. This will help to reduce the quantity of water that enters the drainage system and prevents it from getting overwhelmed. The installation of additional drainage pipes can also be considered to further reduce the risk of excessive water entering the system during periods of heavy rainfall. By implementing these measures, the city can effectively prevent waterlogging and ensure that its residents enjoy a safe and comfortable living environment.

Lakshit Jindal


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