What Chennai (and India) must do to prevent urban flooding

News: The ongoing spell of heavy rain in Chennai has again exposed its vulnerabilities. This shows that the city has not learnt any lessons from 2015.

Must Read: Season of floods: On TN’s long-term solutions to avoid monsoon woes
What are the reasons behind floods in Urban areas?

1. Density of population, 2. Underdeveloped infrastructure, 3. Poor management across institutions, 4. Faulty construction design of Smart City Project works, for example, T Nagar neighbourhood in Chennai faces flood due to faulty stormwater drain designs, 5. Not planting the required number of trees in the urban ecosystem, 6. Not allow for groundwater recharge.

Read more: Urbanisation to blame for Chennai’s flood woes, integrated system need of the hour: Report
How India can mitigate the impacts of floods in urban areas?

Coordination between various institutions: For example, the coordination between water resources and disaster management authorities needs combined coordination and responsibility for disaster risk management.

Translate traditional water infrastructure investment into nature-based solutions: Ensure adequate space for river and flood plains to capture discharge from high-intensity rainfall, and invest in healthy watersheds.

Read more: Nature-based, people-centred solutions for water

Work closely with grassroots organisations: To promote awareness on holistic flood risk management and participatory approach for risk-based early action coordination among stakeholders to mitigate flood risks.

Utilise the power of digital technologies: To digitise informal settlements, identify levels of vulnerability for flood protection strategies and ensure timely actionable information including financial supports.

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