A Case of Raipur: Integration of Stormwater Drains with Lakes

Many plans and schemes are laid out with an exemplary budget on the construction of stormwater drains to prevent flooding during the rains.

WORDS BY- AABHA TIWARI

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Amidst the policies and planning of urban development, the most prominent activity focusing in today’s Raipur- capital of Chhattisgarh is the retrofitting the drainage system. Many plans and schemes are laid out with an exemplary budget on the construction of stormwater drains to prevent flooding during the rains.
The plan is to extend these drains into several kilometres across the city with the collected water into the nearest water body such as a lake or a river. Raipur covers approximately 200 lakes (inclusion of natural and artificial origin). As per the reports, the water quality of these lakes is gradually deteriorating due to poor drainage system and discharge of untreated sewage.

The RMC or Raipur Municipal Corporation is majorly concerned for proper management and protection of these water bodies.
As experts penned down, “The circumstances of the flooding can be prevented in the city by interlinking the stormwater drain with the existing lakes of the city”. Such lakes can be treated as the storage reservoir which can reduce the effects of flooding and nullify the changes of drying of lakes during summer.

Complexity of Stormwater Management
The stormwater retrofit programs are essential to correct the existing crisis of poor water management.

Urban stormwater management is one of the prominent basic infrastructure facilities of the fast-growing city of the Raipur itself and major other cities of the country, these issues laid upon in the parallel infrastructure development plan and a proper comprehensive plan of urban drainage and sanitation must be organised and implemented accordingly. The implementation of sustainable and well-developed master plan on urban drainage of any town/ or city is majorly dependent on the adaptability of the drainage principles to the real situation of the city. The high-rise issues such as the aspects of the legality, social and finance, hamper the adoption of such principles to implement innovative alternatives.

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The stormwater retrofit programs are essential to correct the existing crisis of poor water management. Urban stormwater management is one of the prominent basic infrastructure facilities of the fast-growing city of the Raipur itself and major other cities of the country

Other factors on the development of stormwater management for Raipur has displayed the variable of problems of the appropriate data availability, cooperation of municipal authorities and unchecked urban expansion.

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As per the statement from Raipur Municipal Corporation (RMC), ‘About 80% of the sewerage water mixes with the storm water leaving major part of the areas of the cities, vulnerable to the floods and flood-like situations in case of heavy downpour’.

Many rivers are left unmonitored in India and are unevenly distributed, which shows great spatial variability in the rainfall distribution within the city limits.

The lack of a record of the existing drainage network causes several inconsistencies in the records as well as in the actual field data, which causes the implementors, crisis to imply any solution in terms of stormwater management.

Methods and Solutions
The assessment of existing drains and natural drainage pattern were considered as an important landmark in preliminary site exploration.

The aim of this preliminary site investigation is to conduct a detailed study on the collection of rainfall, evaporation and other weather-related studies.The principal purpose of these site visits is to verify the inlet and outlet of such lakes or drains entering and exiting the lakes in whole city. Once the data (such as rainfall, evaporation rate, water-flow and drainage maps) is recorded by the Municipal Corporation, the study furthers into modelling the lakes for integration. The most elevated lake is considered as a model area to integrate the storm water for the proper water management of the city.

Such trial and error methods of modelling and remodelling of lakes minimises the oversight and could be applied efficiently. The primary aim of this is to integrate the existing lakes to storm drainage network.

Proposed Solutions
– Establishing a feasible and cost-effective stormwater management plan.
– Integration of administrative organs of the cities with an academic and research institutes aiming to promote the water management and conservation.
– Long term planning for effective stormwater management system.
– Experimental studies should be used to present demonstrative effects of the advantages of the sustainable approach. Although educational campaigns were being organized in Raipur where various sectors of the society Municipal Engineers, Consultants of reputed organizations and local politicians together to inform the population on the advantages of the use of stormwater quantitative and qualitative control.