Urban flood and effective management strategies – Part 2

75

Bhavananda Mayengbam

(Contd from yesterday)
Further, campaigns, publicity, inclusion in educational syllabus etc. to encourage the motorist to comply are information/ persuasion instruments. Further, a combination of various instruments can be also used to achieve the mission.

Numerous polices are framed to address social, economic and environmental issues. Nevertheless, many of them have failed to address pressing current urban issues mainly due to ineffective implementation mechanism and absence of evaluation mechanism. Recognising roles of stakeholders are of utmost importance in a policy, however, this may not hold true in many cases. One of the major reasons behind the failure of a policy is due to lack of stakeholder participation in policy formation. After all, stakeholders are the ones who are going to be directly or indirectly affected by the policy and its success lies in their active participation.

To address the urban flood, we require effective water management policy encompassing suitable policy instruments/ tools for implementation and subsequent evaluation process to identify backlogs. The reason behind the essence of urban flood policy instrument is to overcome the complexity in empirical relations, and the complexity in assessment. Having familiar instruments from past experience makes policies more predictive and adaptive in implementation. Consequently, if this adaptive mechanism adopted by affected community is structured in a stable pattern, they can be assumed as a part of policy instrumentation and can be used in the policy formation and decision making. Further, evaluation process involving stakeholders helps to identify the ineffective areas of the policy thereby giving a fair chance to initiate corrective measures. The absence of this process is also one of the major reasons behind many failures.

Lastly, we need to relook at our present flood management policy and identify the cause rather than to address the effects and use suitable policy instruments to change the behaviour of the society towards the policy goals. Mapping and study of present urban drainage in context with historical maps and data are essential to explore the cause. To mitigate urban flood, it is also required to clean and deepen the drain and river beds in collaboration with historical data and strengthen the weak embankments. Capacity building of our institutions along with recognition of stakeholder participation in flood policy decision making process will eradicate difficulties in policy formation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Enactment of proper regulations and laws, use of economic and social instruments etc. to stop solid waste disposal and encroachment on drainage and wetlands should be our prerogative strategies. Further, there is also a strong need to study the amount of water supply to the city either by piped water or through small water enterprises. As sanitation starts from where water supply ends, the empirical data collected can be used collectively with flood data to improve and plan a sustainable drainage system for Imphal. (Concluded)

(The writer is an architect specialised in Urban Infrastructure Management, IHS, Erasmus University)

Source: The Sangai Express

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