Unplanned Urban Development : Example – UPSC GS1

  • Chennai in Tamil Nadu is a textbook example of how nature is being ignored in urban development-posed challenges. Unplanned urban development and unwieldy growth with no hydrological plan are causing many problems. Earlier, when there was heavy rain in catchment areas in the Chennai region, lakes, ponds, tanks, rivers and inter-linked drainage systems helped replenish groundwater, hold back some water and release the excess to the ocean.
  • With development, a number of tanks and lakes in and around Chennai have been encroached upon by various stakeholders. Major rivers and canals such as the Cooum, Adyar and Buckingham Canal which are meant to carry excess rainwater to the Bay of Bengal now serve as the city’s drainage outlets. The Pallikaranai marsh which acted as a sponge to soak up excess rainwater is now an over-run.
  • Nature-based solutions are crucial to achieving our Sustainable Development Goals. Adopting them will not only improve water management but also achieve water security.

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