Thursday, September 11, 2014

It is Man's Greed that is Evident in most Natural Disasters

Kashmir Valley is under water for about six days now. CM says the rain that poured in was 400 mm and Met dept says it was 200 mm. Let us leave that controversy aside. Even if we take 400 mm (higher figure) as true, all the rain is meant (naturally) to drain to the rivers or the lakes. The design of nature is so good that the water always flows through natural slops to nearest water body. All water bodies also have their discharge mechanism.

What does that mean? In case of a Lake (at least natural) there is a flow channel to a river or a Nullah  when the lake overflows. Similarly a river, unless dammed will freely flow and if dammed, there will be controlled water release from it.

Does it not surprise us that despite no rain in Kashmir valley for last few days post the downpour, water has not drained out (and thus receded) from the streets of Srinagar to rivers and lakes? The reason is simple. We take nature for granted; We construct houses, other buildings and  structures indiscriminately without any regard to natural flow paths of water in case of rain. Since it rains heavily very rarely, we take it for granted that natural drainage of water is a need that will NEVER arise.

This phenomenon is further aided by the unchecked illegal construction not only in the flow / drainage path but even in the river / lake bed. We choke the natural gradients of water flows. After allowing the mankind enough time to reconcile and correct the situation the Mother Nature strikes back. Even in such times if natural water drainage is free of obstructions, the accumulate water will drain out very fast as soon as heavy rain stops.

But since we took Mother Nature granted for many years, when her fury lands on us, we are left with cities like Srinagar becoming lakes by themselves with a very poor drainage rate. Where will the rain water drain? It is us who has dammed the water in our cities by killing natural routes of drainage.

The story repeats itself from Mumbai (a few years back), Uttarakhand and now in Kashmir valley. It is unfortunate that  the people suffering in such times are mostly non contributors to these causes, tourists etc.

The moot question is, will we ever learn? Our record so far shows that we are dim and duffer students.

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