Recent flooding in Rainbow Nagar exposes Union Territory’s poor flood management

Residents of the large residential area say their locality is flooded after just a couple of hours of rain; they complain that clogged stormwater channels have not been cleared; PWD officials say the topography of the area leads to flooding, and work is on to divert rainwater from there

May 04, 2023 04:09 pm | Updated 04:09 pm IST - PUDUCHERRY

A vacant plot of land filled with water during the recent rains on Ninth Cross, Rainbow Nagar in Puducherry

A vacant plot of land filled with water during the recent rains on Ninth Cross, Rainbow Nagar in Puducherry | Photo Credit: KUMAR SS

The recent flooding in Rainbow Nagar, after just a few hours of heavy rain, has again highlighted the poor infrastructure in one of the largest residential areas in the town.

Rainwater entered the ground floor of several houses on the First, Fourth, Seventh and Ninth Streets of Rainbow Nagar. Residents stayed awake on the night of May 1, preparing themselves to move household items to safer places, as this has become the norm for them, whenever it rains.

“The day after the rains, we invariably have to spend a lot of time cleaning the house after the water recedes. The main problem is the choked drains and encroachments on the stormwater channels. The authorities have made several visits to our area, and we have showed the blocks in the drains. But it has been of no use,” said Stephan Gandhi, a resident of Ninth Cross. 

According to R. Vinoth, a resident of Fourth Cross, most of the stormwater drains are encroached upon. Desilting has not been done properly. “The area gets flooded within a few hours of rain. Imagine our plight, if there is going to be heavy rain for a few days.”

Public Works Department officials say the situation is better than it was a few years ago. Water stagnation has considerably reduced in the adjoining Krishna Nagar area. The government has allocated ₹9 crore under the Smart City Mission to implement flood mitigation measures at Rainbow Nagar.

The main problem is Rainbow Nagar’s topography, says a PWD official. When it rains, water flows down from Lawspet and inundates Rainbow Nagar. “We are planning to divert rainwater generated in the Lawspet area to the Saram drain. Pipes have already been laid, and pump sets purchased. The department is in the process of constructing a huge sump in Rainbow Nagar as part of the flood mitigation measures. All the work will be completed in two to three months,” the official said.

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