Mains Q & A 7 February 2023
Q1. Urban planners worldwide face a substantial issue due to the rising global phenomenon of urban floods. Comment. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS I Urbanization related issues
Urban flooding happens when rainfall overwhelms drainage systems like storm sewers and floods land or property within a developed environment, especially in areas with higher densities of people. The rapid, irrational, unchecked urbanisation taking place all over the world, which is causing oncoming disasters, regularly exceeds the carrying capacity of metropolitan regions. Water logging and flooding are signs that urban planners have not given hydrology much thought.
City flooding is increasing:
In recent years, urban floods have become more frequent in several Indian cities.
The main cities in India have been badly impacted by a rise in the frequency of urban flood disasters during the past several years.
The most prominent of them were in Delhi in 2002 and 2003, Chennai in 2004, Mumbai in 2005, Surat in 2006, Kolkata in 2007, Jamshedpur in 2008, Delhi in 2009, and Guwahati and Delhi in 2010.
Due to significant water logging in Patna in 2019, hospitals and residential areas were up to their waists in water.
The list has been expanded as a result of the most recent floods in Chennai and Bangalore in 2021.
Urban flooding is a challenge for urban planners:
Excessive Rainfall: The weather pattern changed, resulting in fewer rainy days and heavier downpours.
Inadequate Drainage Infrastructure: Runoff from metropolitan areas is usually polluted, leading to frequent system failures.
Over the previous 20 years, Indian cities’ original built-up areas have grown dramatically.
Little was done to fix the inadequate drainage infrastructure when the city grew beyond its original bounds.
Even small amounts of precipitation can overwhelm urban drainage systems and result in flash floods in low-lying areas.
City stormwater drains are frequently in poor condition, with inadequate and ineffective operation and maintenance.
Stormwater drains frequently become clogged with municipal solid waste, as well as debris from construction and demolition.
An example of this is the clogged sewer in the south Delhi neighbourhood of Taimoor Nagar, where waste has built up over time.
The city has suffered long-lasting, irreparable damage as a result of the earth being levelled and the natural drainage systems being altered. Developers, property owners, and governmental agencies are to blame for this harm.
Reducing Seepage: As a result of increased construction and the materials used, Indian cities are becoming more and more water-impervious (hard, non-porous construction material that makes the soil impervious).
Lax Implementation: A non-structural deficit in India’s urban stormwater management is the absence of national or state-level policy frameworks and/or guidelines.
Urban infrastructure improvement initiatives like the Smart Cities Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission, and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation fall short of providing a comprehensive vision and strategy to address the issue of urban flooding.
Reclaiming Natural Areas:
In this country, environmental constraints are regularly disregarded by megaprojects. Open spaces and streams suffer from “planned” encroachments. Urban streams and water bodies are harmed by land use.
For instance, to construct a bus station in Delhi, a section of the Barapullah drain was covered.
Delhi’s Akshardham Temple Complex and Commonwealth Games Village (CWG) were built in the early 2000s on the Yamuna’s floodplain.
The Chennai International Airport’s second runway located directly above the Adyar River. Due to the airport’s extensive construction on riverine floodplains, it was severely flooded during the 2015 Chennai floods.
Large portions of the Krishna River floodplain were slated for development in even more recent developments, notably the Amaravati Capital City Project in Andhra Pradesh.
What must be done:
A systemic change that fully tackles both structural and non-structural variables is required to address the issue of urban flooding.
Water-sensitive urban design and planning (WSUDP) and green infrastructure for stormwater management
Open spaces and water bodies must be located, safeguarded, and utilised as crucial components of green infrastructure in order to control runoff and lessen urban flooding. This is important, along with identifying urban catchments and ranking projects according to risk and vulnerability.
Incorporate short-, medium-, long-, and repeating strategies to enhance stormwater infrastructure into drainage master plans for urban areas. To assist with this, the most sophisticated urban watershed modelling is needed.
After identifying vulnerable and high-risk areas, create monsoon action plans based on context for specific locations. Informal communities are especially vulnerable because of their high built-up area density and lack of infrastructure. To assist with this, a contemporary city rain atlas that provides spatial rainfall maps with 15-minute intervals is required. Flood warnings can be issued using the rain atlas as well.
Establish a nodal agency for urban stormwater management that will be in charge of organising the creation of city master plans and local drainage master plans.
Depending on regionally different rainfall figures, design principles and comprehensive project reports may need to be adjusted to include run-off management solutions. Municipalities and development organisations can take the lead in launching high-profile, high-impact pilot projects that show the potential of collecting rainfall and implementing flood-control measures.
Establish a framework for urban drainage at the national and state levels using updated service-level metrics, like the percentage of municipal land covered by water-harvesting features.
It is possible to increase the capacity of practitioners at the academic level by updating the curriculum to include WSUDP and green infrastructure strategies for infrastructure provision and continuous professional development of municipal functionaries and consultants in order to update with latest tools and techniques for planning and designing rain / stormwater harvesting features.
By limiting the emergence of squatter settlements in risky locations, you can lessen the number of individuals who are susceptible to climate change. All of this means that the ability of urban local government bodies to resist extreme weather events like flooding will continue to be a key factor.
Q2. In our country, forest fires occur frequently throughout the fire season. But there have been more forest fires than usual, and they have happened throughout the winter. Examine. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS III Environmental Conservation
Forest fires are one of the most frequent dangers in a forested area. They are a serious danger to the biodiversity and flora of the forest. Because forest fires are inherently “quasi-natural,” they are influenced by both natural and human forces, including volcanoes, earthquakes, and tropical storms. In India, dry vegetation, hot temperatures, and plenty of oxygen are a deadly combination for forest fires.
In India, forest fires frequently occur.
Every year, fires of varying sizes and intensity engulf large tracts of woodlands.
Since the start of 2021, there have been several forest fires in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, the border between Nagaland and Manipur, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, and wildlife sanctuaries.
Odisha reported the most forest fires nationwide at least 5,291 times between February 22 and March 1, 2021, according to the FSI biennial report.
Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh recorded the next-highest number of fires in the country during the same time period, respectively, with 1,527 and 1,507, respectively, according to FSI figures (1,292).
In India, about 95% of forest fires are caused by human activities.
About 21% of the total forest cover is very to extremely fire prone, according to the most current forest survey.
Records from the forest inventory show that 40% of India’s forests experience intermittent fires, 7.49% experience fairly frequent fires, and 2.405 experience high incidence levels, while 35.71 percent of India’s forests have not yet experienced fires of any significant effect.
There are several causes for an increase in forest fire frequency:
Although there are many different natural causes of forest fires, authorities claim that many significant fires in India are mostly the consequence of human activity.
Recent studies have found a connection between global warming and a rise in fires, particularly the massive Amazon forest fires that have ravaged Brazil and Australia during the past two years.
Climate change is associated with fires that are more severe, last longer, happen more frequently, and are of a highly flammable nature.
In India, forest fires are most frequently reported in the months of March and April because there is a large amount of dried wood, logs, dead leaves, stumps, dry grass, and weeds on the ground that are easily ignited by a spark.
Rubbish from rubbing trees has also been known to spark fires in the wild, such as under extreme heat and aridity.
Another significant issue in Uttarakhand is the lack of soil moisture.
In the two monsoon seasons that have followed (2019 and 2020), rainfall has fallen short of the seasonal normal by 18% and 20%, respectively.
Strategies to avoid forest fires:
According to the forest fire line, effective five-year plans have budgeted money to fight forest fires. Summertime fires were prevented during the British era by removing all of the forest waste from the forest boundaries. The “Forest Fire Line” was the name given to it.
This line was put in place to prevent the spread of fire from one area of the forest to another.
Each piece of the collected trash was burned.
Firebreaks: Normally, a fire will only advance if dry vegetation (fuel) is present in sufficient quantities along its route. Because of this, creating firebreaks in the shape of tiny clearings or ditches in the forest helps prevent a forest fire from spreading, which is the best way to put out a fire.
The Forest Survey of India uses satellites on the MODIS and SNPP-VIIRS platforms to track forest fire events in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organization and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (ISRO).
The SNPP-VIIRS finds, notifies, and tracks fire incidents on real-time data at 375X375 sq metre pixel, while the older version MODIS detects fire occurrences in the range of 1kmX1km.
Forest fire suppression typically uses “dry” firefighting methods due to the limited water supply.
The main objectives of integrated forest protection are to reduce forest fires and improve forest protection. Clearing firelines, supporting Joint Forest Management Committees, building water features, purchasing trucks and communication gear, purchasing firefighting gear, etc. are all vital activities.
To stop human-caused fires, environmental change and education are used. It will include engineering initiatives, forestry operations, public involvement, instruction, and enforcement. It is recommended that more focus be put on encouraging individuals to participate in Joint Forest Fire Management in order to prevent fires.
A well-organized network of monitoring points, efficient ground patrols, and communication networks are used to quickly detect fires. Prioritization must be given to the use of remote sensing technology in fire detection. For efficient fire control and management, the nation must deploy the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) and Fire Forecasting System.
executing the National Action Plan on Forest Fires’ system for managing forest fuel at strategic areas It was launched in 2018 with the intention of lowering the number of forest fires by educating, involving, and inspiring communities around forests to work with state forest agencies.
Protecting the country’s lungs from fire’s destruction is essential. India must stop human-caused disasters as climate change and global warming worsen in order to protect our carbon sinks.
#India #World #Daily IAS #UPSC #Stact_PSC #Prelims #Mains #Questions #Answers #GeoIAS
WEBSITE : https://geoias.com/
FACEBOOK : https://www.facebook.com/geoiaskolkata
INSTAGRAM : https://www.instagram.com/geoias
TWITTER : https://twitter.com/GeoIas
EMAIL ID : email@example.com
TELEGRAM : https://t.me/Geo_Ias
MOBILE APP : https://treeloki.page.link/Rg1u
YOUTUBE : https://www.youtube.com/@geoiasupsc
FORONLINE/OFFLINE CLASSES : +91 9477560001, 9477560002