Mains Paper 3: Disaster Management | Disaster and disaster management.
Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to attempt the below.
“Flood governance: focus should shift from relief measures to building resilience in flood-prone areas” Discuss
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Not much
Mains level: Floods: India’s vulnerability, solutions etc.
- Narendra Modi announced a Rs 2,000 crore package for relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation in the flood-affected states in the Northeast.
- Rs 100 crore will be used to set up a high-powered committee that will work on finding permanent solutions to the flood problem
- There is a need to shift the focus from flood protection to flood governance.
Reasons for flood
- Rivers in the Northeast, originating in the Eastern Himalayas, experience a sharp fall in gradient as they move from Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan to reach Assam’s floodplains.
- Rivers carry large amounts of sediments, which then get deposited on the floodplains, reducing the storage capacity of the river channels and resulting in inundation of the adjoining floodplains.
- Sediment load carried by the rivers is accentuated through “developmental” interventions in the Eastern Himalayas that result in deforestation.
Flood protection methods
- Dredging rivers and bank strengthening
- Storage dams: Its scope is limited in Arunachal Pradesh, given the region’s geology and the ecology.
Flood affected people
- Building resilience for the flood affected communities
- Water and sanitation issues require attention during the flood months.
- Floods are accompanied by outbreaks of diseases such as diarrhea. Ensure access to veterinary services.
- People in the flood-prone areas in the Northeast, by and large, practice subsistence agriculture.
- While the land remains inundated for an extended period in the monsoons, proper irrigation facilities must be provided
Flood governance through resilience building
- Reducing vulnerability
- Increasing access to services
- Maximising productivity through optimal use of available resource
- Community-based advance flood warning systems
- Elevated toilets, ecosanitation units — promoted in the flood-prone areas of North Bihar — and elevated dugwells or tubewells with iron filter need to be installed in the Northeast.
- Productivity can be maximised by giving people access to cheaper sources of irrigation, research on short duration boro paddy, and innovative agriculture techniques like floating vegetable gardens.
- Scientific fish farming on the waterbodies and the inundated land can ensure that inundation, when it cannot be avoided, is put to optimal use.
- Strategic environment assessment of development activities
- Strengthening planning authorities like the Brahmaputra Board and flood control departments by staffing them with scientists from a wide range of disciplines is essential