In this article, we will discuss Flood Control and Management in India. So, let’s get started.
Flood Control and Management
The main steps taken by the Government of India:
The Central Water Commission started flood forecasting since November 1958, when the first forecasting station was established at the Old Railway Bridge of Delhi. Since then, it has extended the flood-forecasting station to cover almost all the major flood prone rivers of the country. At present, there are 175 flood forecasting station on different major and minor rivers of the country. The centre issues daily flood forecasts and warnings throughout the season of general rains. The Central Flood Forecasting Organisation monitors floods all over the country and issues warnings. The main flood forecasting centres are located at Surat (Tapi), Bharuch (Narmada), Varanasi, Buxar, Patna, Hathidah, and Aimabad (Ganga), Dibrugarh and Guwahati (Assam), Jalpaiguri (Tista), Delhi (Yamuna), Lucknow ( Gomati), Bhubaneswar ( Subarnrekha, Burtha, Balang, Brahmani and Baitarni), Sahibi (Rajasthan), and Gandhi-Sagar (Chambal). In addition to these, there are 157 flood forecasting station from which about 6000 forecasts are issued every year.
Reduction of Runoff
Reduction in runoff is one of most effective methods of flood control . Runoff can be reduced by inducing and increasing the infiltration of the surface water into the ground. Afforestation in the catchment areas of rivers is a very effective step to check the runoff and to increase the percolation of water.
Construction of Dams and Reservoirs
The flood can be reduced by Construction of dams and reservoirs. Dams have the capacity of holding huge quantity of water during the flood period and help in reducing the menace of flood. Water stored in reservoirs of dams can be released under controlled conditions, depending upon the carrying capacity of the river channel. A number of dams across the Damodar, Kosi, Satluj, Rihand, Mahanadi, Krishna, Kaveri, Chambal, Narmada, Tapi, and Sabarmati have been constructed to check floods.
Control of Flood Levels
A number of step may be taken to the flood levels. Among these steps, stream channelisation, channel improvement, and flood diversion are important.
Construction of Embankments
Construction of embankments is a very effective method against floods. Construction of embankments has been taken in a big way after the establishment of the Central Water Commission and the Flood Control Commission. Over 12,000 km long embankments have been constructed after the establishment of the Flood Control Commission. Most of these embankments have been constructed along the Brahmaputra, Ganga, Yamuna, Satluj, Beas, Ravi, Mahanadi, Kosi, Godavari, Krishna, and the Kaveri.
Flood Plain Zoning
Flood plain zoning is another very effective method of flood management. It is based on information regarding land use in flood plains. Some areas are more prone to floods than others. Construction of buildings, factories, etc. in the zone adjacent to the river channels should be prohibited. The areas occasionally flooded after a few years should be under green-belts in which social forestry is a priority.
The following additional measures are suggested by the Flood Control Commission: (i) restriction on indiscriminate felling of trees in hilly regions, (ii) protecting one kilometre tract along the major rivers for massive afforestation, where agriculture and house construction prohibited, (iii) Regular dredging of river beds, (iv) formation of National Water Grid through which flood waters could be diverted to dry areas through diversion channels or could be stored in reservoirs, (v) to develop suitable drainage channels in water-logged areas, and (vi) engineering effective methods to protect the coastal areas from tides and sea-surges.