Request to act immediately to prevent anticipated disasters, flooding, and water logging due to deliberate negligence
The monsoon is around the corner and to avoid flooding like situation (like last year), Vadodara must act fast to complete pre monsoon work at the earliest. Environmentalists also write a letter to different concerned departments requesting to act immediately to prevent anticipated disasters, flooding, and water logging due to deliberate negligence regarding the reclamation of ravines, water detention areas under the pretext of ‘low lying areas’ or blaming heavy rainfall, and debris dumping.
On 22 April 2020 a Detailed Letter, including the Crucial Documents, is sent to the Municipal Commissioner of Vadodara Municipal Corporation, The Secretary of Ministry of Jal Shakti, The Secretary of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, The Chief Secretary of Gujarat, The Additional Chief Secretary of Forests & Environment Department, Gujarat, The Principal Secretary of Urban Development and Urban Housing Department, Gujarat, The Chairman and Member Secretary of Gujarat Pollution Control Board, The Collector of Vadodara, The Chairman of Vadodara Urban Development Authority, The Regional Director of Central Pollution Control Board and others by the environmentalists to look into the matter. They also issue a warning of possible flooding and sure waterlogging this year also in Vadodara in case of no action.
Environmentalist Rohit Prajapati said, If the city of Vadodara does not wake up and begin the technically and ecologically sound pre during, and post measures for reclaiming and restoring the ravines and water detention areas filled with construction debris and all kinds of solid waste and sorting, recycling and upcycling the removed materials (resources), we are headed for another episode of disaster and damage due to water-logging and floods during the upcoming monsoon of 2020.”
Furthermore he said, The ravines and wetlands are being systematically destroyed and filled with debris and municipal solid waste in order to reclaim land for further “development”. This will further exacerbate the already existing waterlogging and flooding woes in various parts of the city. The ravines and wetlands are nature’s water management mechanisms, which act like shock absorbers, natural sponges, by detaining the inundation of waters in the river during monsoon. The above mentioned activities are altering the nature made morphology as well as natural functions of the river system by either narrowing the section of the river, straightening of the meanders, modifying the natural topography along the banks, clearing of vegetation, and increasing impervious surfaces. These actions are modifying the soil structure, its interactions with water and other bio-geo-chemical processes along the riparian zones, and aggravates the threat of disasters such as floods and water logging.
In his letter he further added that, The Coronavirus pandemic, in many ways, has taught us multiple lessons, if we are smart enough to recognize them. The key message is that nature has its own resilient ways to reconcile its system even if we don’t respect its spatial structure and processes. It is high time we recognize the realm of the river system as a whole and duly vacate our encroachments form its bio-physical environs. It is important to reiterate that the restoration of the river, ravines, ponds, wetlands, and such must be done systematically, scientifically, and in an ecologically sound manner and ensure healthy and well-functioning ecosystems, including the habitats of the riverine flora and fauna.
Rohit Prajapati demands that the administration shall work as per the directives given by the concerned departments of Ministry to save the city from flooding and water logging. He fear that the citizens will see a possible water logging if not the floods this year, if no action being taken by the local administration and concerned departments.