Mangaluru Floods: Facing the challenge

Mangaluru Floods: Facing the challenge

Vehicles wading through the flooded Kottara Chowki in Mangaluru. DH Photo

The Southwest monsoon has been wreaking havoc on Mangaluru with the floods affecting the lives and property of people there.

Mangaluru, named after the Mangaladevi Temple, is situated 72 ft above sea level. The land is made up of hard laterite in hilly tracts and sandy soil along the seashore. The Geological Survey of India has identified Mangaluru as a moderately earthquake-prone urban centre and has categorised it in the Seismic III Zone.

Situated on the western coast of India, it is bordered by the Arabian Sea on the west and the Western Ghats on the east. Major rivers like Netravati and Gurupura flow close to this port city. Being a coastal area, the soil here comprises a good amount of water content. The place receives good rainfall during monsoon. 

The plains get waterlogged easily since the soil can't hold the excessive water. For instance, low-lying areas like Kudroli and Alake face water-logging issues. Most of the water flows into the sea.

In Mangaluru, areas like Pumpwell, Ambedkar Circle, Kodialguthu, Kottara Chowki, Attavar, PVS, Kadri Kambala, Adyar, Ekkur, Alake, Panjimogeru, Bykapmpady Industrial Area and Thokkottu Junction were flooded in the heavy rains recently. The roads are easily waterlogged as there are only a few stormwater drains and the drains are blocked. 

The floods in Mangaluru are the result of improper town planning.

Here are a few solutions for stormwater treatment

1  Avoid the entry of sewage water into stormwater drains.

2  Build stormwater drains with multiple overflow outlets

3  Avoid encroachment and development of slums along the drains, especially in Mangaluru city.

4 Implementation of sustainable watershed management will help in dealing with stormwater flooding.

5 Promote tree plantation and stop unnecessary cutting down of trees.

6 Construct more drains along the roads in the city.

7 There should be more drainages to prevent possible flooding in the low-lying areas of the city

8 Convert old drainages to new drainages with the modern drainage system.

9 There should be safety measures for pedestrian drain crossings 

10 Regular waterlogging areas should be identified and the frequency of waterlogging should be monitored.

11 Provide proper cross-sections to the drainage along the roads.

12 The collected drainage water should be disposed of in proper disposal areas.

13  Release drainage water into rivers or lakes nearby which are drying.

14 Avoid dumping solid waste into drains which are blocking the water flow

15 Buildings should have a proper drainage system.

16 Flattening low-lying areas with debris generated from civil works is another way to avoid flooding.

17 Implementing advanced drainage system as used in the developed countries will help in treating stormwater.

18. Institutions and residences should implement rainwater harvesting.

19 A timely survey of existing drainages and damaged ones should be done.

20 Finally, there should be a proper awareness of thunderstorms and precaution needs to be taken accordingly.