29th Jun 2017 09:06:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

A few minutes of intense downpour around the capital complex results in water ferociously gushing through what remains of natural water pathways and the national highway taking on the form of a river with garbage and on sorts of wastage trudging along. The rampant quarrying in streams and rivers resulting in altered water course has increased the destructive ability manifolds.

Itanagar and parts of the capital complex witness severe water logging in many areas including the NH415 every monsoon.

 What the capital complex is facing is close to what is called urban flooding. Indiscriminate and unpragmatic urbanization has gravely disrupted the hydrological process that worked with clockwork precision and saved the ecology from the damage to a large extent. Ignoring the hydrological mechanism and not learning from previous events has become a part of our urban planning and disaster management agencies.

 City planners and policy makers must be strict before giving the go-ahead for mammoth constructions which does not conform to the laid down rules prescribed for hilly areas. Given the loose nature of soil of the capital complex which is prone to landslides, the administration must adhere to the rulebook even more.

Our ability to anticipate the rains and the floods in the larger context of environmental and climate change based on sound understanding of the natural processes is the key to proper planning and proactive action for managing urban floods. This can be possible only if policy makers are supported with good governance and people’s cooperation.

Floods and landslides is a cyclical occurrence every monsoon but it has to be accepted that we are none too wiser. Each year it’s the same replay and rather than taking necessary preventive measures, our focus is on post disaster restoration and rehabilitation instead of being on permanent mitigation measures. The emphasis of our planning process is on disaster management and disaster response, not disaster prevention. We have never been strong on that front. 

Itanagar is a textbook example of an unplanned city. With mushrooming of buildings at every conceivable spot with scant regard to the topography, it is a sitting duck especially during the monsoon. The obstruction of natural pathways of streams and rivulets is a blunder which might cost us dearly.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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