Vadodara: The city started to float at many places in just three inches of rain. Many houses near Kashi Vishwanath Temple were inundated for hours on Saturday too. Until Sunday evening, several parts on the eastern periphery of the city remained inundated.
It is only in recent years that heavy rainfall for a couple of hours only can convert into major flood woes for the citizens. Environmentalists and urbanists blame the frequent waterlogging in the city to the ‘disturbed’ geography and topography of the region in the last two decades. “Vadodara’s topography is not flat and there are several undulations.
The topology of the intricate landscape has been overlooked completely in the process of random planning,” said Sanjeev Joshi, an architect urbanist.
“The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) or the Vadodara Urban Development Authority (VUDA) should plan the town planning schemes keeping the topography of the city in mind and should take cognizance of rampant construction activities,” Joshi told.
Joshi further said that for centuries Vadodara has an inter-connected network of a river, nullahs, wetlands and ponds. However, haphazard construction of buildings and roads has disturbed this inter-connectivity due to which the issue of waterlogging has become frequent in the past few years.
Joshi also said that several channels have been lost. These wetlands and channels have been filled over the years for developing buildings or roads. “Many wetlands and ponds have been filled up, but there are still many left and these can be reservoirs to prevent waterlogging,” he added.
A past study by city-based Gujarat Ecology Society (GES) has also revealed that Vadodara has lost around 40 hectares of wetlands. This area is equal to the size of eight Sursagar ponds put together.
“As these wetlands have been lost, water comes on road,” said Dr Deepa Gavali, director of GES.
“Just before monsoon, the civic body had laid a new storm water drain from Shannen School to Mukhinagar yet, our roads are inundated,” said Tejas Brahmbhatt, a resident of Khodiyarnagar.