Climatology

coach: Drainage Master Plan: Experts Call For Integrated Approach | Kochi News

Kochi: The recurring flood situation in the city has forced the Kochi corporation to finally agree to prepare a drainage master plan. The city witnessed around six flooding incidents following heavy rain in April and May this year.
Corporation secretary, in a report to the Kerala High Court on Friday, said the local body will place a proposal before the council for preparing the master plan.
Though the demand for the same was being raised from various corners for several years, no action had been taken on the matter. The local body kept on blaming high tide whenever a flood situation was reported in the city.
Experts say there should be an integrated approach in preparing the master plan. However, they said it is a time-consuming and costly process considering the vast area, the process and the stakeholders involved.
A scientist from the Center for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM, Kozhikode) said preparing a drainage master plan will take a minimum around one-and-half years. “Initially, a topographical survey of the area has to be conducted to know the landscape. It will help identify green spaces, buildings, open spaces and other factors present there. It is also necessary to identify existing drains and canals, and their design, depth, width and stormwater carrying capacity. Besides that, rainfall data must be collected to calculate surface runoff. The quantity of discharge from houses and firms to the drains should also be included in the master plan. If there is a shortage in the drain network, it is necessary to increase the network capacity. It is also necessary to identify spots like wetlands and open spaces, where the excess water can be diverted to, ”said Dr Drisya CK, senior scientist with the hydrology and climatology research group of CWRDM, Kozhikode.
An expert from the Kerala Irrigation Infrastructure Development Corporation said stormwater drainage master plan for Kochi is the need of the hour. “A preliminary feasibility study should be conducted. As part of this, inundation area area has to be identified. We need to link the drains with major and minor canals. For that mapping of the streams and canals in the surrounding places outside the master plan area should be done. Besides this, mapping of habitation pockets in the area should be done so as to address sewerage issue. So the master plan, which requires long-term consultation, should be an integrated one which can put forward a sustainable solution to all the sewage and stormwater issues, ”said Sudheer Padikkal, general manager of the corporation, adding high tide factors should also be studied.
Former councilor KJ Sohan said a drainage master plan on the area from Ernakulam Town Hall to Ravipuram was prepared by a private agency 20 years ago. “While preparing the master plan, the authorities should ensure the implementation of the Kerala Municipal Building Rules, which prevents tiling the entire compound when a house is constructed,” he said.

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