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Managing floods in Northeast: HM Amit Shah bats for creation of 50 large ponds

First Published: 23rd June, 2024 20:18 IST

During a high-level review meeting in New Delhi today, Shah said that at least 50 large ponds in the Northeast should be constructed so that the water of the Brahmaputra

Amid floods causing havoc in Northeast and several other parts of the country, Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired a high-level meeting today in New Delhi to review the situation and preparedness for flood management.

The Union Home Minister also reviewed long-term measures to formulate a comprehensive and far-reaching policy to mitigate the menace of floods in the country.
As such during the meeting, Amit Shah said that at least 50 large ponds in the Northeast should be constructed so that the water of the Brahmaputra River could be diverted and stored in those ponds. He said that this will help in developing agriculture, irrigation and tourism in those areas at a low cost and also help in tackling the floods, and, it will eventually benefit the local economy.
The Union Home Minister said that the non-perennial rivers are prone to more soil erosion and siltation, resulting in floods. He directed that efforts should be made to upgrade forecast system of water level of rivers for better flood management. Shah said that natural drainage system should be an integral part of the designs of road construction to deal with inundation of roads, in case of floods.
During the meeting, Union Home Minister also reviewed the action taken on the decisions made in the meeting held last year. Along with this, new technologies being adopted by all the agencies and the expansion of their network for flood management, were also discussed during the meeting.

The Union Home Minister also reviewed the preparations to deal with Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF). He also emphasized on optimum use of satellite imagery provided by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) by various agencies for flood and water management.
Amit Shah instructed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to take appropriate precautionary measures to prevent incidents of forest fire. For this, Home Minister stressed the need to regularly create fire lines, remove dry leaves and conduct mock drills from time to time with local residents and forest personnel. Along with this, he also asked to analyse the incidents of repeated forest fires at the same place. Home Minister also asked the NDMA to prepare a detailed manual to deal with incidents of forest fires.
The Union Home Minister directed that the IMD’s alerts regarding lightning strikes should be disseminated to the public on time through SMS, TV, FM radio and other mediums. He emphasized on the need to integrate weather, rainfall and flood warning related apps developed by various departments so that their benefits could reach the targeted population. Shri Shah directed that since the community is the first responder at the time of any disaster including flood, therefore, there should be coordination and integration in the community awareness programs being run by various agencies so that they can have maximum impact.
During the meeting, IMD, CWC, NDRF and NDMA made detailed presentations. The departments concerned also informed about the action taken on the instructions given by the Union Home Minister during the flood review meeting held last year. They also apprised about their preparedness for the current monsoon season and future action plan.
Union Minister for Jal Shakti, CR Paatil, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai, Union Home Secretary, Secretaries of Ministries and Departments of River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Earth Sciences, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Road Transport and Highways, Chairperson Railway Board, Members and Heads of Departments of NDMA, Directors General of NDRF and IMD, Chairman NHAI and senior officers from other concerned departments including CWC were present in the meeting.
It maybe mentioned here that the death toll due to floods in Assam rose to 27, nearly 4 lakh people have been affected and at least 1.71 lakh people have been displaced as per ASDMA’s report yesterday.

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