A smart shower and Delhi starts floating. But the issue is not limited to clogged drains alone.
The government’s failure to address several environmental issues is as much responsible for the monsoon mayhem.
Experts have warned things will get worse if issues such as covering of storm water drains, concretisation of tree bases and inadequate rain water storage are not addressed immediately.
Vindo Jain of NGO Tapas said: “There is a court order issued on my petition that there has to be storage of rain water falling on flyovers. This will prevent flooding and recharge groundwater. But that’s not happening.”
“Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had admitted before National Green Tribunal that 42 of its 105 elevated stations do not have rain water harvesting facility,” said green activist Vikrant Tongad.
Manu Bhatnagar of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage said, “Millions of litres of rain water is lost every monsoon because storm water drains are often covered for commercial purposes.”
Manoj Misra of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan has requested Delhi’s Lt. Governor to ban covering of such drains. “Storm water drains collect and safely carry away rain water and are key groundwater recharge zones,” Misra said.
“With an improved GIS technology at hand, we can easily prepare a digital elevation model to know where the natural drainage lines have been hampered or cut off by poor planning and construction. We need to protect the existing storm water drains and revive the lost ones,” he said.
“We are losing precious groundwater and facing floods by cementing bricklined storm drains and closing them with ramps. It has become a norm to close the drains for parking cars,” said another green enthusiast, Padmavati Dwivedi.
West Delhi resident AN Prasad, who has been fighting against concretisation of tree bases, said, “Once tree bases are freed of cement, the problems of dying trees, flooding and depleting groundwater will be solved.”