Lucknow’s posh area flooding was avoidable if warnings were heeded

August 30th, 2008 - 3:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Aug 30 (IANS) The flood that is now inundating parts of Lucknow’s upmarket neighbourhood Gomtinagar could have been avoided had government agencies followed the city’s master plan for development.About 1,000 houses in Gomti Nagar have been swamped. The worst-affected are Vipul Khand and Viram Khand localities, where rubber boats have been pressed into service.

“As per the master plan prepared by government agencies, Gomtinagar should have been developed at an elevation of 110.85 metres,” a senior Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Disregarding this requirement, LDA and other development agencies went ahead with the development of Gomtinagar, which started witnessing quick growth only after 1995.

Elevation of localities in Gomtinagar is lower than the parameters prescribed in the master plan. Vipul Khand has been set up at an elevation of 109 metres, officials said.

Moreover, the state town and country planning department had also warned the LDA about the ill consequences of developing housing schemes in Gomtinagar.

“We had also submitted a report in 2003 to LDA in which we stated that the low-lying Gomtinagar and its adjoining areas were not suitable for residential purpose,” said a senior official with the town and country planning department.

Ignoring this report also, LDA went ahead and acquired 1146.75 hectares of land in Gomtinagar’s adjoining area, Gomtinagar extension, he said.

“In comparison with other localities, the altitude of this area is about 120 metres. It means the area is about 20 metres deeper (lower) than other areas… (so the) problem of waterlogging will always persist in this area. The locality will grapple with waste and water disposal problems,” the report highlighted.

The report suggested that Gomtinagar and its adjoining areas could be used for water-recharging.

When contacted, LDA vice-chairman Mukesh Kumar Meshram claimed that he was not aware of any warning issued by the state town and country department.

“I only know that LDA has already started relief exercise in Gomtinagar by setting up an earthen embankment,” Meshram told IANS.

A Rs.780 million embankment is proposed in Gomtinagar, he added.

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