India must tackle floods better
By Shreya Challagalla
Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, floods in Nepal, Bangladesh and India are wreaking havoc. In the past few months, five Indian states experienced flooding – Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar and Assam.
While there’s nothing we can do about excessive rain, we can certainly mitigate flooding to a large extent. A good place to look to understand the problem is the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) Report 10 of 2017 that examines the effectiveness of flood control and flood forecast performance of projects sanctioned by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD&GR).
The report examined Flood Management Programme projects, flood forecasting stations, River Management Activities and large dams across 17 States and Union Territories in India. Thus, the report is clearly not reflective of India as a whole, but certainly sheds light on the status of flood control management in the country. A couple of observations from the report were striking.