Sharing Session – 37

Hyderabad: Anatomy Of The Urban Flood
Speaker: Anant Maringanti

Date and Time: November 5, 2016, 4:00 – 6:00 PM

Venue: CWS Conference Hall, 12-13-438,
Street No. 1, Tarnaka, Secunderabad - 500017

For nearly two decades now, Hyderabad has seen unplanned, tremendous growth in built up area. This has seriously disrupted storm water drains, and tremendously increased surface runoff. This violation of urban development norms is responsible for flooding in several points across the city.

The fault lies in forgetting our agricultural past and ignoring climate change. It took us centuries to develop the complex systems of values assigned to lands in the agrarian settlement. These values are based on soil conditions, gradient, location relative to other geographic and geological features such as ground water, surface water, drainage patterns etc. Urbanisation has altered this agrarian imprint with new logics of efficiency and economy of service delivery. New logics of revenue categories, new processes of record maintenance, reservation of land parcels for new purposes and installation of new infrastructure have erased the agrarian birthmarks of land.

With increasing pressure for land monetisation, governments and public utilities are vying with each other to capture and convert land parcels to new uses. Ridge systems, stream paths, accumulation points in the valleys — which used to play critical roles in managing precipitation and drainage — have been flattened.

In this sharing session, the speaker will discuss the untold story of urban floods and explain the need to re-centre our policy and to re-train our engineers into acknowledging our agrarian past. Urbanisation needs to be managed with careful observation, data gathering over long periods of time, modelling the behaviour of nature in the altered context. The speaker will elaborate the ways to review and revise revenue laws and rules that govern land categories and shape land use change. 

Anant Maringanti is a geographer with a PhD from University of Minnesota and has taught graduate courses at the National University of Singapore and University of Hyderabad. His research and teaching interests centre on questions of urbanization and globalization from the South Asian vantage point. He is currently the director of Hyderabad Urban Lab, a multi disciplinary research programme run by the Right to the City Foundation. He has widely published in national and international academic journals on social movements, politics of development and urbanization.