During the year 2021 Chennai city witnessing one amongst the top 3  rainfall in 200 years  has leads to many water way management new school of thought process..  

In Pursue of learning lessons from the disastrous floods across the city in November, the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) has decided to create sponge parks and restore wetlands that would be able to absorb the floodwater during torrential rains.

The planning authority said it has been taking several steps towards restoration of wetlands by engaging with several environmental organisations. 

The statement came in the backdrop of stringent criticism against it for rapid concretisation that prevented percolation of rainwater and allowing the conversion of waterbodies into real estate plots, which is one of the major reasons for water stagnation and inundation in the city and suburbs during monsoons.

Member-secretary Anshul Mishra and other senior officials have rejected applications seeking reclassification of waterbodies into residential zones, it added in a statement. 

Earlier, the planning authority used to approve applications seeking reclassification of waterbodies into residential and commercial use zones if the applicants had pattas in their name.

“At a meeting on Thursday, the CMDA refused to approve converting portions of waterbodies for residential layouts. 

In addition, CMDA has planned to identify Open Space reservation (OSR) land across Chennai city for creating sponge parks,” the statement said. 

Incidentally, the challenges it faced during this northeast monsoon prompted the Greater Chennai Corporation, too, to consider setting up a sponge park at Manali zone. 

The idea is to create a pond that would not only store floodwater  and thus take it away from roads  but also filter the water using gravel, soil and blocks before it percolates into the soil.