TODAY -

Story of rain and drain in Imphal city

Yumjao and Malem *

Heavy flooding in several areas in and around Imphal :: March 31 2017
Heavy flooding in several areas in and around Imphal on March 31 2017 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



This is a story that happens every year and it has become infamous because of inconvenience faced by most residents in Imphal city. It is story of sleepless nights spent by residents, at the heart of Imphal city on rainy days. The drainage system is so poor and unplanned that an hour of moderate rain would surely cause flood in the low lying area of the city.

Surface water would get stagnant and overflow from inadequate drainage and will start entering nearby houses. The water will enter bed rooms, kitchens, toilets etc. The water in houses sometimes would reach one foot heigh.

Because of poor drainage system, this water remains in the house as long as it continues to rain. When rain stops, it takes another two days or so to get the house partially dry. Then, the next day becomes a hectic day; it takes the whole day to clean up the soil/debris that was brought in by the flood.

So, whenever rain comes the resident starts thinking on "how do I cook", "how do I use toilet" etc. Thus, instead of feeling happy when rain comes, the resident ponders all night long about all those cleaning & reorganizing household goods that has to be done, to get ready for the house to start functioning again.

People would say this story is quite simple and it does happen in monsoon at somewhere else too. "What's the big deal about it, rain water could be just pumped out or else one can raise the building plinth level etc. to get rid of local flood".

If we focus on solutions at individual level only, the problem will still remain, because public drainage has to be planned holistically at larger area by civic bodies considering many factors such as local topography , population and other utilities existing in that area etc.

Imphal is our capital city, I think we deserve to have better facilities here, so that we all can proudly showcase this place to other people coming for visit or other purpose. This is 21st century we are living in; we should not be facing any problem while looking for any kind of solution that would help in making good drainage system for whole Imphal city.

Of late, we are talking about Imphal becoming a smart city amongst many other smart cities in India. We can learn a lot from master plan of other metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad etc. I believe proper and thorough study is underway towards finalization of master plan of Imphal city. In this article, viewpoints expressed are suggestive in nature.

Causes:

1. As of now, we don't have proper master plan for Imphal city.

2. Lack of Strict building bye-laws.

3. Lack of enforcement of the bye-laws.

Implications:

1. Stagnant water causes water borne diseases.

2. Traffic jam.

3. Hindering business and other daily activities.

Suggestion:

1. Participation of people and other stakeholders would surely help in finalization of master plan.

2. Consent to construction must be obtained from local bodies before start of any construction activity.

3. Expert bodies (master planners, engineers, architects, geologist etc.) shall be consulted before approving any proposal.

4. Inter-departmental meeting is necessary for holistic design of master plan.

5. Awareness campaign would help people to appreciate and respect & follow the master plan.

6. Redevelopment of government quarters & offices to high rise & sustainable building.

7. Service tunnel may help in laying water pipes, LT cables, optical fibers in and around Imphal city, which is easy for operation and maintenance.

8. Prevention of unauthorized buildings.

Proper master plan is everything for a city to grow. Because, in a smart city we would be having all the facilities and infrastructures namely offices, colleges, hospital, stadium, multi-level parking, power station etc. which would definitely demand its own space. Therefore, we need to provide space for all these essential services without which a city would not be just possible to function properly.

With the coming of new government in the state, it is hoped that proper master plan is developed soon and shared with the public, so that infrastructures are developed at those places which are meant for them.

If all the stakeholders follow the master plan, we could save money and time which will reduce the operation & maintenance cost of the city too. Ultimately, we could think of happy thoughts on rainy days, which is desirable!!!


* Yumjao and Malem wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on April 13 2017.


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