Well one thing is common amongst these, "Water"!
It is an extremely interesting fact that the commodity, which was given prime importance in the thousands of years old "Indus" civilization is neglected completely in the most modern of times in India.
No matter how much investigation is done, it is evident that the biggest reason of inundation in any city is "drainage,", the reduction in the size of Dal lake or any other water body is drainage, and reducing supply of water in India is improper water management (includes drainage), which are widely covered in civil and agricultural Engineering.
In US, when even a small parking lot is constructed, a proper study is done to manage the water resulting from a 10 year, 25 year or larger storms. In India, every other construction makes sure to stop the drainage.
This problem is rampant in any other Indian City. I would call any city in India an extra ordinary example of Civil Engg. where students can learn how not to do things. New colonies, houses, marketing complexes are made without taking care of water disposal and supply. On a side note, I think India is one of the very few countries where water supply and sewer lines run side by side, and India also has one sewer system for storm water and waste water.
All the cities on the bank of rivers dispose their "shit" in their "Holy Rivers."
No matter how great India becomes with the software progress, or industrial progress, negligence of this basic commodity will leave us with nothing. The current condition of water resources in India might bring us to a position of buying water from foreign countries, and it may become a reason of social unrest in coming years (There have been incidences of violence in water scarce villages, Link).
The moral of the story is that Government needs to invest heavily in improving the drainage and water supply system in Indian Cities. All the other facilities, roads, railways everything runs on this foundation only. These projects need to be properly planned and heavy scaled. Attempting to clean a river few days before rain (as we did in Mumbai) is not gonna yield anything.
At the individual level, people should make sure not to throw things in sewer which may block things, and not to block drainage while conducting new construction.
Monday, July 03, 2006
Inundated Mumbai, Reducing Dal Lake size, and no scope of Water Resource (Civil) Engineering in India