Gurugram: TERI to survey Golf Course Road, suggest flood-prevention stepsUpdated: Sep 21, 2020, 23:12 IST
Researchers at the TERI School of Advanced Studies will be conducting a three-month-long hydro-geological survey of Golf Course Road (GCR) and the Aravalli hills that run adjacent to it. The study, which is likely to conclude sometime early next year, will suggest a range of interventions to conserve rainwater and prevent urban flooding in the region. During recent floods in the city on August 19 and 20, the GCR stretch remained among the worst affected areas of the city, with the DLF Phase-1 underpass being rendered unusable for over 30 hours due to waterlogging
Commissioned by IAmGurgaon — a city-based NGO known for eco-restoration projects such the Aravalli Biodiversity Park and the Wazirabad bundh — TERI’s upcoming study, for which a detailed proposal has been prepared, has also received the support of officials in the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) and the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG). Over the past four weeks, representatives from TERI and IAmGurgaon have held meetings and conducted field visits with VS Kundu, CEO, GMDA and Vinay Pratap Singh, commissioner, MCG, to discuss the scope of the undertaking. The study, however, will not be funded by either of the two local bodies, said representatives of IAmGurgaon.
The proposed study, according to experts at TERI, will focus on assessing four drainage channels, which originate in the Aravallis just above Golf Course Road, and traverse its carriageway before draining into a water body that collects along the nearby Chakkarpur-Wazirabad bundh. The first (and lowest-lying) of these natural creeks runs through Sector 26, while the other three are located in sectors 42, 54 and 56. “These channels are part of the natural topography of the area. We will be assessing their feasibility to retain run-off and recharge groundwater. Based on our assessments, we shall model a range of interventions that could potentially prevent repeated floods of the kind we have just witnessed. By harnessing these creeks, we may also find a more sustainable use for rainwater than simply draining it out,” said Fawzia Tarannum, of the School of Regional Water Studies at TERI-SAS.
Tarannum, who is also an advisor with the district administration’s Gurujal society, added, “We will firstly conduct a satellite-based GIS survey, scrutinise older and existing drainage maps, see how the region’s topography has changed and how exactly it has changed the flow of water. We will also calculate the carrying capacities of these four creeks based on different weather scenarios, from light rain to heavy rain. Our assumption is that extreme weather events are bound to intensify, and that rainfall patterns will become shorter but more severe. An ‘unprecedented’ shower like Gurugram witnessed, in reality, has a lot of precedents.”
Representatives from IAmGurgaon, which will be funding TERI’s study, said such intensive showers might strike the city again. “We have already seen it happen multiple times in just five or six years. At IAmGurgaon, we had been aware of these four Aravalli creeks since restoring the Wazirabad-Bundh. What we are trying to do is find a way to rejig the area’s natural drainage,” said Latika Thukral, founder, IAmGurgaon. She added, “We want to show the administration that there are alternative solutions to simply building more drains to carry the water off to Najafgarh.”
Pradeep Kumar, chief engineer, GMDA, and a member of a recently appointed Flood Protection Committee, said, “We will help with the study in whatever way we can. We have been looking into the matter ourselves. The problem is that GCR lies at the lower end of a steep, 15-metre elevation difference. Mining in the Aravalli areas like Mangar and Bandhwari around the Gurugram-Faridabad Road, and rampant construction and concretisation in the foothills have disturbed the natural drainage pattern. As such, water simply rushes down onto the carriageway.”He added that the GMDA, which took over the maintenance of Gurugram’s drainage system from the HSVP in 2017, would consider any viable interventions the study may present.
Rohit Sharma, director, DLF Estate Developers Ltd, the private developer who is the custodian of GCR, said, “We welcome any study that is in the interest of Gurgaon and its residents. Our infrastructure along the Golf Course Road is sufficient, but due to unprecedented rainfall last month some issues arose. We have already taken stock of them, and would be happy to work with GMDA, MCG or any other official authority in the larger public interest.”