Urban planning

Context- A radical shift is needed in our approach towards disaster mitigation and management. Government can handle cyclones better by investing in town planning and infrastructure.

What are the reasons of no major casualty or lesser destruction by cyclone Nivar?

Cyclone Nivar- It is the fourth cyclone that has taken shape in the North Indian Ocean region this year. The reason for lesser destruction are-

  1. Correct weather forecasting– IMD has pointed the track of the cyclone very early and his help with adequate warnings and evacuation from the coast.
  2. Disaster preparedness – The NDRF deployed 25 teams and disaster management equipment in the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh.
  3. Government readiness – The Tamil Nadu government has shown brisk readiness in handling the acute challenge of a severe weather event.

What are the concern concerns?

  1. Unplanned development– Unplanned development, encroachments in riparian zones, failure of flood control structures, unplanned reservoir operations, poor drainage infrastructure, deforestation, land use change and sedimentation in river beds are exacerbating floods.
  • Indiscriminate encroachment of waterways and wetlands, inadequate capacity of drains and lack of maintenance of the drainage infrastructure.
  1. Governments have not shown the rigour to collect and publish data on annual flooding patterns, and measure the peak flows in the neglected rivers and canals to plan remedies.

Way forward-

  • The aftermath now presents an opportunity to make a full assessment not just for distribution of relief but also to understand the impacts of extreme monsoon weather.
  • Governments and local bodies should hardwire urban planning and invest heavily for a future of frequent disruptive weather.

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