Shah takes stock of flood management readiness

Recurring flooding of the Brahmaputra is a major issue for Assam and the northeast region as it claims scores of lives and inundates thousands of hectares of land every year.
Home Minister Amit Shah chairs the meeting to review flood preparedness.
Home Minister Amit Shah chairs the meeting to review flood preparedness.Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: Chairing a high-level meeting to review preparedness for flood management during the upcoming monsoon season, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday directed the participating officials to create at least 50 large ponds in the northeast to divert water of the Brahmaputra to tackle floods and also use ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) data to take preventive measures.

Addressing the meeting, also attended by Jal Shakti Minister CR Patil, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai and top officials of the government, Shah said large ponds would not only help in tackling the floods, but also in agriculture, irrigation and tourism.

Shah also took stock of the preparations to deal with Glacial Lake Outburst Flood and asked the officials to make efforts to upgrade the forecast system of water level of rivers for better flood management.

Recurring flooding of the Brahmaputra is a major issue for Assam and the northeast region as it claims scores of lives and inundates thousands of hectares of land every year.

Scores of people have been killed, hundreds rendered homeless and communication lines and road networks snapped in Sikkim and Uttarakhand in the last few years following flash floods created due to the glacial lake outburst, which has become another major concern for the government during monsoon.

Shah also impressed upon the officials to remain conscious of creating a natural drainage system as an integral part of the designs of road construction to deal with their inundation in case of floods.

He also instructed the departments concerned to hold a detailed study of the recent floods in Sikkim and Manipur and submit a report to the MHA.

The HM underscored the need to integrate weather, rainfall and flood warning related apps developed by various departments. He also reviewed long-term measures to formulate a comprehensive and far-reaching policy to mitigate the menace of floods in the country, the MHA said in a statement. Besides, Shah also assessed the action taken on the decisions made during last year’s meeting, it added.

Shah appealed to all states and Union Territories to timely implement the advisories issued by National Disaster Management Authority for flood management. He asked the India Meteorological Department and the CWC to complete the process of recalibrating all the equipment used in flood forecast at the earliest including floodgates of all major dams.

He said the non-perennial rivers are prone to more soil erosion and siltation, resulting in floods.

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