Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday reviewed the preparedness of measures to deal with monsoon and flood situation in major flood-prone river basins in the country. He held a high-level meeting in which he directed officials to develop a well-planned scheme to reduce flooding and minimize the loss to property and lives.
Shah also emphasized on better coordination between agencies to have a permanent system for forecasting of floods and rise in water levels in major catchment zones/areas of the country. He asked for action on following up on priority areas to provide permanent solutions to the perennial flood problems in the states of North East, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The Home Minister also directed the Ministry of Jal Shakti and Central Water Commission (CWC) to review and assess data on the real storage capacity of major dams with a view to ensure timely releases of water and prevention of floods. Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation made a presentation and informed about the major floods that had occurred in the country.
He also apprised about the structural measures including management of Dams, Reservoirs, ongoing projects in Nepal, flood protection measures and non-structural measures i.e. flood plain zoning, flood forecasting and way forward to mitigate the effect of floods in Ganga and Brahmaputra Basins. Senior Officials of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and India Meteorological Department (IMD) also made presentations.
A total of 40-million-hectares area in India is prone to flood in which Ganga and Brahmaputra are main flood basins and Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are most flood-prone states. The decisions taken in the meeting will go a long way to mitigate the sufferings of the lakhs of people in the country who have to face the fury of floods in terms of damage to their crops, property, livelihood and precious lives.
The meeting was also attended by Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai and senior official of concerned ministries and agencies.