In India, one of the biggest problems is that people have the habit of encroaching on government land — waterlogging is mostly due to this haphazard development. As there is a lot of encroachment in Ghaziabad, naturally waterlogging during the monsoon is severe.
Sometimes we cannot even get out of our houses, which affects our work. Vehicles often get damaged due to waterlogging. Some people incur huge financial losses when water enters into their office space — damaging machines, and factory godowns.
Buildings with a weak foundation become more vulnerable to the danger of collapsing, as they become fragile during excessive rain. Like the recent incidents of building collapse that took place in Ghaziabad and Greater Noida. There have also been many accidents in our area as the roads get slippery during monsoon.
Health issues are also a major problem due to contamination of drinking water. Sometimes there are leakages in water pipes or the water reservoir gets polluted, which contaminates drinking water. Water channels of the nallahs should be clear and natural channels should be maintained.
Another problem is that there is too much concretisation of the ground, which does not allow rainwater to seep through the soil. Soft soil should be used in drains, instead of making the surface hard by concretising it. Encroachment of water bodies — like ponds being removed and the widths of drains being reduced — is also aggravating the problem of waterlogging This is prevalent because some people are greedy and want to capture whatever land is available, even if their activities are harming our environment.
The government should definitely do its bit but there should be cooperation from the public as well. Everyone must understand that it is a joint effort.
SK Maheshwari is the RWA President of Ghaziabad.
— As told to Shruti Das