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09-July-2024-Editorial

July 9 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

FLOODS IN INDIA: CAUSES, IMPLICATIONS, AND MANAGEMENT

Floods are natural disasters characterized by the overflow of water onto land that is normally dry.

  • They are one of the most common natural disasters worldwide, affecting millions of people and causing significant damage.

Causes of Floods:

  • Heavy Rainfall: Intense and prolonged rainfall can overwhelm rivers and drainage systems.
  • Snowmelt: Rapid melting of snow due to warmer temperatures can lead to increased water flow in rivers.
  • Storm Surges: Coastal areas are susceptible to flooding from storm surges caused by tropical cyclones or tsunamis.

Types of Floods:

  • Flash Floods: Sudden and intense rainfall causes water levels to rise rapidly, overtaking rivers, streams, and roads.
  • River Floods: Persistent rain or snowmelt causes rivers to exceed their capacity, leading to widespread flooding.
  • Coastal Floods: Storm surges associated with cyclones or tsunamis inundate coastal areas.

State of Floods in India:

  • India has a vast flood-prone area, with over 40 million hectares susceptible to flooding.
  • Flood damages have shown an increasing trend, with significant economic losses reported annually.

Causes of Regular Floods in Assam:

  • Large Number of Rivers: Assam has over 120 rivers originating from high rainfall areas in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and neighboring countries.
  • Monsoon Intensity: The Northeast experiences heavy monsoon rainfall, with up to 85% of annual rainfall occurring during monsoon months.
  • Climate Change: Melting glaciers and snow caps in the Tibetan Plateau contribute to increased water flow in rivers like the Brahmaputra, exacerbating flooding.
  • Human Intervention: Factors include poorly maintained embankments, population growth leading to encroachment in flood-prone areas, and traditional farming practices that contribute to soil erosion.

Implications of Floods in Assam:

  • Loss of Wildlife: Floods in Kaziranga National Park have led to the death of numerous wild animals, including endangered one-horned rhinos.
  • Damage to Infrastructure: Roads and other infrastructure suffer extensive damage during floods, hindering relief efforts.
  • Displacement of People: Millions are displaced, seeking shelter in relief camps, placing strain on resources and management.

Steps Taken to Manage Floods in India:

  • National Flood Management Programme (NFMP): Launched in 1954, emphasizes both structural (dams, embankments) and non-structural (floodplain zoning) measures.
  • Rashtriya Barh Ayog: Established in 1976, introduced comprehensive flood management strategies grounded in scientific assessment and coordinated national planning.
  • National Water Policy (2012): Advocates reservoir operations for flood management and floodplain zoning for regulated development.
  • National Hydrology Project (2016): Enhances flood forecasting through real-time hydro-meteorological data.
  • Flood Management and Border Areas Programme (FMBAP): Focuses on catchment area treatment to reduce sediment load and enhance river carrying capacity.
  • Flood Plain Zoning: Regulates land use in flood-prone areas to prevent encroachment and minimize damage.
  • Flood Proofing: Elevating vulnerable settlements and infrastructure above flood levels to mitigate losses.
  • National Disaster Response Force (NDRF): Specialized force for disaster response and relief operations.

Way Forward:

  • Early Warning Systems: Implement advanced warning systems for better preparedness and response to floods.
  • Improved Infrastructure: Invest in resilient infrastructure and drainage systems to manage excess water during floods.
  • Collaborative Efforts: Strengthen cooperation between state and central governments and enhance data sharing with neighboring countries.
  • Sustainable Land Management: Promote sustainable practices to reduce soil erosion and increase water absorption capacity.
  • Task Force Recommendations: Implement recommendations for flood management and erosion control effectively.
  • Financial Support: Increase funding for flood control projects and ensure equitable distribution between central and state governments.

Details

Date:
July 9
Time:
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
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