Friday, August 15, 2008

Delhi's (and other cities) rain problem

Rainfall in a city has typically always been welcomed. The sheer relief from heat, of water falling from the sky always brings out a better mood in people, makes children more excited, relieves water pressure to some extent (through recharging of ground water). There have always been problems related to some water-logging, some businesses getting disturbed, and so on. However, in recent years, people in Delhi have come to dread rain falling in the city.
Given the increasing crowd in the city, and the strain on civic facilities, it is even more urgent that the civic agencies work at their utmost to handle these problems. However, the problems that cities are facing seem to be increasing every year; and these problems are not unique to one city. They happen to be problems that happen everywhere.
Let us take these problems, related to the rain and the chaos they cause. There is a reliance on the normal drains, and storm drains to handle the drainage of water; however, for that it is required that these drains be desilted before the monsoon, as well as natural water bodies that carry away excess water should not be impeded. However, in many cities, rivers running through them have been blocked or built over to such an extent that they are incapable of handling the excess water. Similarly, drains are not desilted on time (as an example, in Delhi this year, only a small percentage of drains were desilted on time). So, water-logging turns out to be a very common problem. This happens every where, and every year, the municipal bodies announce an enquiry to determine the problems.
Next, what happens pretty often is that in cases of rain, traffic signals turn off. This is a major killer, since our traffic sense is fairly low (me first is the common tendency), and signals start getting jammed. Traffic blockages tend to pile up pretty fast, and take time to dissipate. If there is a problem that power to traffic signals gets cut off because of general safety issues, then traffic signals should have an alternate source of power.
Handling such issues requires the municipal agencies to be thinking in terms of solutions, but given how these issues happen every year, it seems unlikely that things will improve anytime soon. We will have more cases of people missing flights, trains, meetings, spending 4 hours in traffic, and so on. Any suggestions ?

Labels: ,

If you like these writings, you can subscribe to this feed to get new postsSite Feed Site Feed

posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 11:10 AM