The increasing occurrences of floods in urban areas have drawn attention as Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Kaushal Kishore, responded to questions in the Lok Sabha. While the ministry doesn't maintain specific data on urban floods, the minister revealed the major cities grappling with flood-related challenges in recent years.
In response to a question raised Kaushal Kishore said that the data related to incidents of urban floods is not maintained by the ministry.
However, major cities most affected by floods during the last five years include Palakkad, Thrissur, Cochin, Malappuram in Kerala (2018 and 2020), Hyderabad (2020), Bengaluru (2022), Manali (2023), Patiala in Himachal Pradesh Are. Dera Bassi in Punjab (2023) and Yamuna river bank in Delhi (2023).
The Constitution's 12th Schedule designates Urban Planning as a responsibility of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and Urban Development Authorities. The Government of India offers advisory support in this matter. However, the ministry has undertaken various initiatives and projects to combat urban flooding:
- The Urban and Regional Development Plan Formulation and Implementation Guidelines 2014 include sustainability guidelines that address urban flooding issues.
- The ministry issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Urban Flooding in 2017, which were circulated to all States and Union Territories for adoption based on local conditions.
- Through the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), the ministry supports the creation of Geographic Information System (GIS) based Master Plans for cities. This initiative, entirely funded by the central government with a total outlay of ₹515.00 crore, is being implemented across 461 towns in 34 States and Union Territories.
- Stormwater drainage is a key component of AMRUT. Approximately ₹2,969 crore (4% of the total allocation) has been allocated for stormwater drainage projects. Of the 812 projects initiated across 19 States and Union Territories, 719 projects worth ₹1,622 crore have been completed, effectively eliminating 3,319 waterlogging points.
The prevalence of urban floods remains a pressing concern, prompting the Indian government to focus on strengthening urban planning and infrastructure to mitigate the impacts of these incidents. The government's efforts, coupled with local initiatives, aim to address the challenges posed by increasing urban flooding incidents in the country.
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