By Murari Chaturvedi, Editor-in-Chief, Accommodation Times
Monsoon season is also known as the flood season in the country. The country is blessed with a network of rivers but it also brings the horror of floods which devastate the vast areas. Floods in India cause loss of lives and public property and bring untold misery to the people especially those in the rural areas. Over the years, several expert committees have studies the problems caused by floods and suggested various measures for their management. However despite the various steps undertaken over the last five decades the trend of increasing damage and devastation brought by floods has posed a challenge. The National Flood Commission submitted its comprehensive report to the government covering the entire gamut of flood problem in the country. In fact a number of government organizations are formed for flood control but it seems there no proper co-ordination between them. A number of issues like adequate funds for flood control, legislation, research and people’s involvement are very important to effectively mange floods. In the country a two tier system of flood management exist namely, the state level mechanism, which includes the water resources departments’ state technical advisory committee and flood control board. The second mechanism is the central government mechanism under which the union government has set up various organizations and expert committees to enable the state government to deal the flood problem. The concept of flood plain zoning recognizes the basic fact that demarcated zones or areas likely to be affected by floods of different magnitude and probability levels and specify the types of permissible developments in these zones so that whenever floods actually occur the damage can be minimized. Unfortunately while all generally endorse this approach in principle scant attention is given to it in actual practice. Diversion of flood waters to the same basin downstream of the flood prone area, where it could be stored for subsequent release. This measure can be used to manage unusual floods around cities as in the case of flood spill channel near Shrinagar and in case of Krishna Godavari drainage schemes. The need is to synchronize the working of four regions for the effective management of flood control systems and study of flood problem. The four regions are Brahmaputra Region, Ganga Region, North West Region and Central India and Deccan region. Embankments confine the flood flows and prevent spilling so these must be built along the rivers in flood prone areas. The human life must be protected above all. Person living in flood prone zones and near big rivers, must be warned of spread of floods in time and resettle them in safer areas.