Editorial | Efficient city drainage needed

Heavy rains led to massive water logging in Lal Chowk area of Srinagar city on Thursday, 25 July 2019. Habib Naqash/GK

Rainfall is not an unusual thing. In Kashmir we have our own share of rainfall, and at times there are some deflections form the normal; it remains dry for a longer period, or it rains more than expected. What makes it a problem for us is the downside of our city and town architecture. Even a mild rainfall causes water-logging in some city areas. In the dry days we presume that the problem of water-logging is over for good. But once it rains we are reminded of the problem that the system of draining out rain water, or the usual household outflow, is very faulty in our city. This fault ridden system gives trouble to us in rainy seasons. We have experienced how market places, streets, and some of our main roads get inundated if it rains for a little longer while. The movement of pedestrians, and of the vehicles, becomes difficult. 

This time when the Met Department has predicted rainfall for some days, the problem is bound to surface up again. Once again we are hit by the same old question that we have been asking for all these years now; why this problem when we have full fledged departments to take care of urban planning. Is there a structural fault? Is there a problem of dredging the drains at regular intervals? Is this a problem of people being negligent towards their civc duties; making even solid mass to drain through the underground pipes? Is there a problem of daily maintenance of the drainage system? If we have to get rid of this problem the concerned authorities must first pinpoint the problems that hurt the system. Once that is done a comprehensive plan can be drawn. We need to map the problem and then approach it in a scientific and efficient way. While all this is done there is an important task at hand to be done by the government;  undertake a public awareness campaign to make people understand how this system works, what are the bottlenecks, and how each household needs to be mindful of what to allow, and what not to allow, to pass through this drainage network.