As Chennai struggles with its third disastrous flood in less than ten years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to approve India’s first urban flood mitigation project. This project, which has been given a budget of Rs. 561.29 crore under the National Disaster Mitigation Fund (NDMF), is aimed at addressing the growing susceptibility of urban areas to intense flooding that occurs suddenly due to heavy rainfall.
The ‘Integrated Urban Flood Management activities for Chennai Basin Project’ has been granted a substantial Central aid of Rs. 500 crore with the aim of strengthening the city’s defences against periodic flood risks. This initiative aims to proactively manage the challenges posed by urban flooding, emphasising comprehensive strategies to enhance Chennai’s resilience to natural disasters.
The project’s primary goal is to improve the city’s infrastructure for efficient rainwater management while reducing the risk of flooding and its negative impact on people’s lives and means of subsistence. This project is significant because it establishes a national standard for mitigating urban floods and provides a blueprint for protecting other cities facing comparable threats.
The timely announcement aligns with Chennai’s ongoing struggle against the aftermath of the recent deluge, causing widespread disruption. With the city’s airport submerged, flight operations halted, and streets paralyzed by waterlogging, the urgent need for long-term flood management solutions is underscored. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and other agencies remain actively involved in ongoing rescue and relief operations.