Managing the rivers

Source– The post is based on the article “Managing the rivers” published in “The Hindu” on 24th July 2023.

Syllabus: GS3- Disaster management

Relevance: Issues related to flooding in cities

News- Recently, there was flooding in Delhi. The decision to release 350,000 cusecs of water after heavy rain further north seems to have caused the flooding.

What are factors responsible for recent flooding in Delhi?

There is the existence of multiple authorities with responsibilities for Delhi. It has impacted the preparedness for floods and proper accountability for errors.

The water took some time to travel downstream as far as Delhi. But, no alarm was raised. There were no emergency preparations.

Many flooded areas are situated on the floodplains of the Yamuna and are prone to flooding and to subsidence.

The extensive use of concrete in urbanised areas without considering the earth’s capacity to absorb excess water could further exacerbate the problem.

There are issues with the quality of urbanism and its administration.

What is the way forward to mitigate flooding?

The feasibility of consolidating barrages along the Yamuna and other major rivers under a unified authority should be explored.

State governments must maintain their jurisdiction over the flow of water within their territories. But they require assistance in managing riverine infrastructure.

The Union government should initiate a comprehensive examination of the Yamuna flood plan. It needs to ensure that infrastructure development is carried out in a manner that facilitates the harvesting, absorption, or downstream flow of excess water.

There is a need to plan for additional infrastructure, such as new channels, de-sedimentation facilities, and stronger embankments.

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