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Quintessence of Magazines

Assam Flood: Needs Flood Governance Rather Than Flood Protection [EPW July 2017]

Every year Assam becomes the victim of flood due to large volume of water in Brahmaputra river. This year, the official figure of death is risen and reach to 77 and about 12 lakh people have been displaced. The requirement is of flood governance rather than flood protection.
By IT's QoM Squade
August 03, 2017

Contents

  • Why in news?
  • Reasons
  • Most affected states
  • Steps taken
  • Steps should be taken

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GS (M) Paper-3: “Disaster and disaster management.”

 

Why in news?

  • Every year Assam becomes the victim of flood due to large volume of water in Brahmaputra river.
  • This year, the official figure of death is risen and reach to 77 and about 12 lakh people have been displaced.
  • As per the recent report of the Assam state disaster management authority, 20 districts over 2,053 villages and about 1 lakh hectares of agricultural land have been flooded.

ias-toppers-IAS Magazine-Assam-floods

 

Reasons

  • Because of the high precipitation in the Himalayas and sudden fall results in a large volume of water gushing down river channels from the Eastern Himalayas into the flood plains.
  • With increase deforestation in the Eastern Himalayas, the surface run-off has increased at the cost of infiltration leading to tons of sediment being deposited on the riverbed as the river reaches the plain.
  • This again increases the chances of flood as the carrying capacity of river decreases.

 

Most affected states

  • Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam and West Bengal are the most affected states of flood.
  • These four states cover 17% of India’s geographical area but excessively cover for 43% to 52% of all flood prone areas of the country.

 

Steps taken

  • Government constructed embankments to create a safe area for the habitants of affected areas.
  • Government focuses on structural interventions like dams, dredging of rivers and porcupine structures to combat erosion.
  • This often been found to be of standard quality and tend to get washed away.

 

Steps should be taken

  • The requirement is of flood governance rather than flood protection.
  • Flood protection starts and ends with structural interventions and provision of relief while flood governance will ask for the innovative combination of initiatives undertaken at various levels.
  • An integrated set of interventions should be formed which will work on three pillars:
  1. Reducing vulnerability
  2. Enhancing access to developmental services that flood prone populations are deprived of.
  3. Creating conditions that enable the optimal use of people’s resources.

 

[Ref: E&PW]
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