Preparation is Key
Water logging in several areas following the recent heavy rains was a prelude to what the citizens of Dimapur could face when the monsoon arrives a few weeks from now. Fortunately, there was no flooding when incessant rain lashed the state’s commercial hub earlier this week but the situation would have been different had the spell continued a little longer. Being a flood-prone city, the Dimapur Municipal Council and state authorities should take a cue from the recent rains and brace themselves for the upcoming monsoon. Immediate flood mitigating measures like desilting of drainages should be taken up before rainy season begins in order to avoid natural calamities. It should also set up sustainable urban drainage system in order to help solve flooding. The citizens too should play their part here. It’s a fact that water logging is usually caused by waste, especially plastic items littered by the public. So, littering of waste in open spaces has to stop. If not, the issue will compound as the city is growing at a rapid pace. Population explosion due to unplanned urbanisation can cause several problems to hygiene, pollution and shrinking of natural spaces. So, it is necessary for the concerned authorities to put in place a system, including keeping water bodies like lakes and ponds intact, to ensure that the city doesn’t turn unliveable.
Floods in urban areas are usually human-made. Encroachment of river banks, growing concrete surface, cutting down of trees, human settlement in low-laying areas that usually hold water during raining season, etc. are some of the causes of flooding in urban areas. Such activities should be restricted. Besides taking pro-active action to reduce the impact of flooding on the human population, it is imperative to work towards sustainable development. For instance, rain water harvesting can help solve the dual problem of water scarcity and flooding. Permeable pavement, sidewalks and open spaces are necessary to allow the rainwater drain into the soil and recharge the underground water, which is said to be depleting due to excessive drilling of bore wells. Such measures may not show immediate results but will immensely help in the long run. Extreme weather conditions like drought and flash floods are bound to take place because of global warming. The weather pattern in Northeast over the last few decades also saw rainfall deficiency on one hand and devastating floods on the other. So, it is necessary for both the state government and the public to co-operate and work together to avoid natural disasters.