Impact of floods in India, causes & solutions
Adesh Chaurasia Updates – Floods in India
One of the most infamous reasons for the recurring floods in many parts of India is its significant geographical location. States like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, and Bihar are situated in the Terai region, the foothill of the Himalayas, and hundreds of water bodies originate from these mountains. Besides the enormous tolls on humans and their life, the floods have caused considerable damage to animal life, livestock, infrastructure, nature, and the environment. Their impact on social and economic life and the necessary steps are taken to mitigate the impact as well as to avoid their recurrence in time.
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There has been a significant increase in the number of incidents in the scale of floods and experts believe that better and organized flood management is urgently required to handle this challenge, however, several agencies are involved in flood control, still, there is a clear lack of coordination among them in the management and maintenance of incidents of floods. Due to irregular weather patterns and an increase in the number of intense rainfall days, floods have become unpredictable and dangerous. In July 2020, many parts of India, especially the states of Assam and Bihar, were reeling under the floods. Approximately 10 million people are estimated to have been affected, displaced and more than 125 people had been declared dead due to floods in these two states specifically. Along with these 2 states, hundreds of villages in the state of Uttar Pradesh were affected, and Kerala was devastated by floods. Floods in India are turning more devastating, unsure, and rather unpredictable. In 2018 itself, India suffered damages worth over INR 950 billion due to recurrent floods. Government data has shown that between 1953 and 2011, on average, floods have already claimed almost 1,653 lives every year and caused losses, including the house, public property, and crop damage of INR 36.12 billion (INR 3,612 crores every year).
Some of the biggest and most affecting flood disasters in the past decade include Floods of Uttarakhand in 2013, Kashmir in 2014, Chennai in 2015, Kerala in 2018, 2019, and Patna in 2019, and this does not even include the recurring floods happening in the north-eastern region of India. According to the Central Water Commission (CWC), the expenditure on flood management has risen from INR 43.44 billion (INR 4,344 crores) in 2002-07 tenure to INR 171.30 billion (INR 17,130 crores) in 2007-12 tenure.
The main reasons for these floods are
Heavy Rainfall: This is one of the primary reasons for the recurring floods in India, climate change is one of the many reasons for flash floods and heavy rainfall in India. When there is a significant increase in rain, the soil will absorb the excess water quickly, and then it runs into rivers and lagoons, overflowing storm drains and ditches which lead to flash floods. Flash floods can cause a rift and rise in water significantly in a short amount of time.
Sedimentation in Water: Heavy siltation on the seabed decreases the water carrying capacity of rivers which leads to flooding. Due to less outflow of water, it rises to cause a surge in water level.
Poor Drainage: The biggest issue of India, there is no proper drainage system in any part of India. Failure of drainage systems is believed to be one of the many reasons behind recurring floods.
Landslides: Another reason for flood occurrences in India. One of the biggest examples would be the Uttarakhand floods of 2013.
Natural Hazards and phenomena are somewhat also responsible for flood occurrence, earthquakes, Cyclones.
The impact of these situations are pretty catastrophic;
The biggest consequence of these phenomena is the rise in loss of life and property, which is immeasurable.
Loss in Agricultural: Impact on the Agricultural and farmland is peculiar and disheartening as it takes away the lifework of people. Along with farmers, the Common man is pretty much affected by this loss too. Also, it diminishes soil quality leading to infertile land sometimes.
Infrastructural loss: Along with economical infrastructure, transportation networks, electricity supply, and distribution channels, public property suffers huge losses too.
The loss of drinking water is a major concern as the water gets contaminated, which leads to the outbreak of many diseases and epidemics.
Anyhow, the management fails to keep up and manage the impact and that also plays a major role in harm.
The high cost of rescue and operations in affected areas is a problem.
However, there are solutions;
Mapping of flood-prone areas and areas which surround them. All the aspects should be analyzed and certain measures should be taken.
The area which is affected at regular intervals and are densely populated, Government should take special measures to secure them.
No major or economic development should undergo in flood-prone areas and no such activity should be permitted at any cost.
Construction of buildings and the residential area should be specifically done on elevated areas.
Increase in Reforestation, protection of Vegetation, conservation of water bodies, and clearing of debris.
Construction of levees, embankments and dams.
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Author- Adesh Chaurasia
He is an active learner, author, and speaker when it comes to the subject of national development through scientific and relational ways. He presents his knowledge about his line of work in such a simple yet engrossing manner that it reaches out to the people to enhance their knowledge and put it to good use.