Urban Floods

National Flood Commission

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NFC

Mains level : Paper 3- Urban floods and related issues

At least 43 years after India’s first and last commission on floods was constituted, there is no national-level flood control authority in the country so far.

Try this question for mains:
Q. What are the various causes of urban floods in India?

National Flood Commission

  • Rashtriya Barh Ayog or the National Flood Commission (NFC) was set up by the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation in 1976.
  • It aimed to study India’s flood-control measures after the projects launched under the National Flood Control Programme of 1954 failed to achieve much success.

NFCs recommendation

  • In 1980, the NFC made 207 recommendations and four broad observations:
  • First, it said there was no increase in rainfall in India and, thus, the increase in floods was due to anthropogenic factors such as deforestation, drainage congestion and badly planned development works.
  • Second, it questioned the effectiveness of the methods adopted to control floods, such as embankments and reservoirs, and suggested that the construction of these structures be halted until their efficacy was assessed.
  • Third, it said there have to be consolidated efforts among the states and the Centre to take up research and policy initiatives to control floods.
  • Fourth, it recommended a dynamic strategy to cope with the changing nature of floods. An analysis of the report suggested that the problem began with the methods of estimating flood-prone areas of the country.

Why revive NFC?

  • An accurate estimate is crucial for framing flood management programmes.
  • The NFC estimated that the total area vulnerable to floods in 1980 was around 40 million hectares.
  • There is another problem. The very definition of the flood-prone area does not reflect the effectiveness of the flood management works undertaken.
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