Hyderabad floods: What caused deluge in 2000 and GSI’s suggestions for future prevention

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October 23, 2020 6:45 PM

The GSI said that the 2000 floods helped in bringing into limelight the issues in the urban planning of the city.

In August 2000 also, the city had been flooded. (Image: PTI)

Hyderabad floods: Hyderabad is currently witnessing severe floods, with over 80 people having lost their lives and about 40,000 families being displaced. This is not the first time the city has faced severe deluge, however. In August 2000 also, the city had been flooded, after which the Geological Survey of India carried out studies to understand what led to the phenomenon. In its report on the floods, the GSI listed the causes for the flood and recommendations for future. Here’s what it said.

Hyderabad floods: Causes for 2000 deluge

The GSI report listed the following causes for flooding:

  • Some residential areas, like in Nallakunta, have been raised by blocking Musi River’s prominent tributary. This leads to such residential properties being inundated.
  • The report also noted that several water tanks had been converted into residential areas, like converting the Masab Tank into a densely populated area. Such conversions have caused active streams of River Musi on the downstream sides to be completely blocked. Moreover, such colonies have also led to the tampering of the natural path of surface drainage and as a result, get flooded if rainfall occurs for five to six consecutive hours.
  • In the Langar Hauz residential area, the northern and northeastern parts are in low-lying areas having slopes. Moreover, these areas also have active streams running in the middle, causing them to get flooded.
  • Some colonies with a lot of population, like in Ashok Nagar and Gandhi Nagar, are located on Hussain Sagar tank’s downstream side. Consequently, during the floods, water emerging out is blocked by the colonies and these residential areas get flooded instead.

The GSI said that the 2000 floods helped in bringing into limelight the issues in the urban planning of the city.

Hyderabad floods: GSI’s suggestions

The GSI suggested the following correctional methods:

  • In case of low-lying residential areas having slopes, walled ducts or canals must be constructed so that in case of flooding, the floodwater can drain out through these canals and ducts and not reach the residential areas.
  • Many times, construction and residential wastes cause canals, streams and artificial drainage channels to be choked, causing nearby areas to get inundated during floods. GSI suggested strict enforcement of laws could help in preventing disposal of waste in water or public places.
  • The planning around River Musi, a tributary of Krishna River, had led to it becoming a dumping zone for untreated domestic waste. This lack of maintenance also led to the flooding.
  • Since plastic chokes waterways and drainage systems, the ban of plastic products has been advised by GSI, along with the implementation of proper methods for plastic disposal.
  • A major cause for flooding is the sand and silt transported by floods completely filling up reservoirs, tanks and ponds. De-silting operations periodically can help in this regard. This would help in ponds, reservoirs and tanks receiving floodwater. Moreover, these systems are also sources from where water can permeate into the ground and add to the groundwater.
  • The geomorphology of an area must be made a compulsory input parameter before converting it into a residential area, so that any potentially dangerous setups, like ones in Ashok Nagar and Gandhi Nagar can be avoided. The GSI also suggested that consultation with appropriate geological institutions and their clearance must be made necessary for urban authorities before such developments.
  • GSI also suggested making low-lying areas into a green corridor, forming them into an exclusive zone without giving them any permanent structure.

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