Natural Disasters

Mumbai deluge raises same old question: Why are Indian cities flooded again and again

Ignoring telltale warning signs and repeating past mistakes won't help.

By DTE Staff
Published: Tuesday 02 July 2019
File photo of a flooded Mumbai street: Wikimedia Commons

Sixteen people have died already after five days of heavy downpour in Mumbai. But it is not about the death toll alone: Many more precious lives are put at risk, livelihoods are compromised as daily routines are put on hold even as a familiar script plays out in India's financial capital monsoon after monsoon. 

And it is not Mumbai alone. Indian cities, croaking under ever-increasing burdens of population, have been falling prey to floods so often (think Chennai, ironically starved for drinking water) that it has become the new normal. 

So is that it? Are governments and people helplessly supposed to take urban flooding as normative? Or is there something to be done? 

There is actually. Only if careful attention is paid. Down To Earth has been covering the issue for some time now. Here are some ready reckoners:

India's double challenge

Urban flooding may increase if wetlands not protected, says CSE

When climate comes unhinged, we need to re-think how to build our cities

Urban Nightmare: An infographic

Mumbai‘s rivers and lakes to get flood sensors

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