What is the impact of floods on India’s GDP?

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Mains Paper 1: Geography | changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

 Mains level: Prepare urban floods, causes, solutions etc.


News

Context

  1. From Assam in the north-east to Rajasthan and Gujarat in the west, floods are taking a heavy toll on lives and property this year.
  2. As per latest reports, 82 and over 100 flood-related deaths have been recorded in the states of Assam and Gujarat, respectively.

Has flood-related damage increased in India over time?

  1. Flood-related loss of both human and cattle lives and economic damages have come down over time.
  2. However, there has been a significant change in the nature of flood-related losses in India.

What changes?

  1. Central Water Commission (CWC) gives detailed estimates of economic loss and loss of human and cattle lives due to floods from 1953-2016
  2. The 1970s was the worst decade in terms of loss human and cattle lives due to floods in India. These losses have come down since then.
  3. Although absolute economic losses have been increasing, the relative economic damage has come down

Flood related losses?

  1. Floods resulted in loss of 86% of the total GDP in the 1970s and 1980s.
  2. In the present decade, this share has come down to 1% of the GDP.
  3. Until the 1970s, damage to crops was the biggest component of economic loss due to floods. Over time, damage to public utilities has acquired the biggest share in flood-related losses.
  4. A 2015 World Resources Institute study had shown that expanding cities and worsening climate challenges can significantly increase flood-related risks in India. 
Disasters and Disaster Management – Sendai Framework, Floods, Cyclones, etc.
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