Disasters and Disaster Management – Sendai Framework, Floods, Cyclones, etc.

[oped of the day] Raining misery: On ongoing monsoon fury

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Climate change - cities - monsoon

Op-ed of the day is the most important editorial of the day. This will cover a key issue that came in the news and for which students must pay attention. This will also take care of certain key issues students have to cover in respective GS papers.

Context

Bihar is struggling to stay afloat in the ongoing monsoon. 

Situation of Bihar

    • Large parts of the capital, Patna, have been paralysed without power and communications.
    • Critical rations are distributed by boat and helicopter. 
    • Its distress can be traced to poor infrastructure and a lack of administrative preparedness. 
    • The plight of people struggling with underdevelopment is worse. 
    • Across Bihar, there has been a significant loss of life and property. 
    • Similar distress has been reported from some other States as well, notably eastern Uttar Pradesh. 

Monsoon – changing pattern

    • The monsoon is expected to withdraw after October 10, more than a month behind normal.
    • It is consistent with the prevalent scientific view on the effects of a changing climate: extreme rainfall and drought occurring at an increased frequency. 
    • Normal patterns will become less common in coming years. 

Urbanisation at the centre

    • Indian cities are attracting heavy investments in several spheres.
    • State and municipal administrations have not matched their ambitions for development with capacity building and infrastructure creation. 
    • Ignoring urban planning and adaptation is proving costly, and losses are sapping the vitality of the economy. 
    • In its Cities and Climate Change report, the UNFCCC pointed to flooding as a key danger, apart from drought and heat islands. 
    • This is particularly true of urban centres through which rivers flow — such as Patna — and are often located on the coast, facing the additional threat of cyclones

Way ahead

    • They must focus on ensuring the safety of citizens and durability of economic assets. 
    • India’s cities should work towards solutions that use engineering and ecology to contain the excess water from rain and put it to good use. 
    • This could be in the form of new lakes and bioswales, which are vegetated channels to manage rainwater. 
    • States should be able to find financial and technical linkages to put up flood-handling structures.
    • In Bihar’s case, coordination with Nepal to track monsoon flows is also vital, since big Gangetic rivers originate in the Himalayan region.
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