India is a country which receives maximum rainfall, but despite of that drought is a common problem witnessed by the suicides of farmers. Maharashtra every year is flooded in rain water. Water clogging, vehicles submerging in water looks like a familiar situation every year.
The government said that steps such as rainwater harvesting, ban on use of plastic bags and better use of plastic bags and better use of weather forecast will go on a long way in helping tackle flooding in cities after rain. Heavy rainfall have been disrupting the normal life of the people mostly from the metro city.
Owing to this congestion of water, the water-level rises in the tributaries, sometimes causing floods in the neighboring areas. The interfluves between the left-bank tributaries are drained by rivulets which also increase the intensity of floods.
Flood-related destruction can only be minimized only if flood forecasting is accurate.
Unfortunately, like flood risk mapping, India fails miserably on this score too.
The Comptroller and Auditor General’s recent report said a majority of India’s flood forecast systems have either been washed away or their parts have been stolen. “Nearly 60% of the 375 telemetry stations set up between 1997 and 2016 are non-operational which defeats the purpose of investing in the modernization of flood forecast network.
The issue of investing in better flood forecasting policy has also been raised in water policy expert and former plan panel member Mihir Shah’s report to the government on “A 21st century Institutional Architecture for India’s Water Reforms.”
“In addressing the problem of floods, the central focus over the years has been on engineering/structural solutions. Apart from the massive investments in large dams, India has already constructed over 35,000 km of embankments. But these are rapidly reaching their limits... Instead, [India needs better weather and flood forecasting is required, along with flood insurance and possibly the designation of flood diversion areas...”.
The choice for India is obvious but snail’s pace progress in setting up these critical forecasting systems is only leaving the administration at the local level without any advance warning to prepare for the surge of the rivers.
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