In this article, we will know what are the flood affected areas, effects, causes, flood measures in India. Floods can be controlled by constructing check-dams, earthen dams and dams and reservoirs in the catchment areas itself. But, the efforts made in this direction in India are inadequate and unplanned. In the areas where this has been done, the risk of floods has been reduced to a great extent.
Every year flooding of rivers is a natural calamity that swallows property worth crores of rupees in many parts of the world. Villagers take water-samadhi in the blink of an eye. Green fields, thriving crops, orchards, houses and homes were washed away by the strong flow of rivers. Countless trees and plants and rare vegetation merge in the fast flow of water.
Thousands of people and millions of animals die in floods. Although human beings have found solutions to innumerable problems through new discoveries in many fields. Even remote sensing satellites are being used to give advance warning of floods. However, the destruction caused by floods has not been completely eliminated.
Flood affected areas in India
India is one of the countries in the world where floods occur every year in one or the other part. Severe floods occur in Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan are also frequently affected by floods.
About 400 lakh hectares of area in India is in the grip of floods. It is one-eighth of the total geographical area of the country. An average of 7.7 million hectares are affected by floods every year; Crops of 35 lakh hectare area are destroyed. About 100 lakh hectares of crops are estimated to be destroyed in the most devastating rains.
Effects of floods in India
Every year floods cause huge loss of life and property in India. According to an estimate by the Planning Commission, an average of 1,439 people die every year due to floods. In the year 1977, 11,316 people died in the severe floods.
The estimated damage to crops, houses, livestock and public facilities due to floods during the period 1953-87 is Rs 26,800 crore. The maximum annual damage caused by floods is Rs 4,059 crore, which occurred in the year 1985.
According to the information received from the states, 49 lakh hectare area was affected by flood in the year 1990 and on that 28 lakh hectare area was destroyed by standing crops. About 162 lakh people were affected by the floods this year and 882 of them died; 1,22,498 animals died. There was a loss of about Rs 41.25 crore including crops, houses and public facilities.
In 1993, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana were hit by unprecedented floods, in which hundreds of people died and property worth crores of rupees was destroyed. Like every year, floods continue to wreak havoc in the north-eastern states of the country and in Bengal and Bihar.
Causes of floods in India
1. Every year floods occur in India and this creates a flood situation. No single cause is responsible for floods and flood situation. While some of its causes are quite natural, some of the causes are the result of man’s own actions. Uneven rainfall is the most important reason among natural causes.
2. India is a country with uneven rainfall. The weather here is special. Here 70 to 90 percent of the rainfall is received in the four months of monsoon – June to September. It is also not that all regions receive the same amount of rainfall in these months, sometimes too little or too much. Over the years, there has been a year after year, normal or above normal variation in the meteorological subdivisions.
3. When some of the subdivisions receive more than normal rainfall in a year, the situation of water logging occurs in that area. Then, due to the rise in the water level of the rivers passing through that area, a situation of flood arises in the river flow area.
4. Forests were cleared and trees were cut indiscriminately to make more and more land cultivable and use wood for domestic and commercial purposes. This has created an imbalance in the environment. Due to this, while the monsoon has been affected on the one hand, on the other hand the tendency of erosion and erosion by rivers has also increased.
5. Human beings are solely responsible for water logging and damage in urban areas due to excessive rainfall. In the last years, adequate attention has been paid to the proper drainage of water in the expansion and development of towns and cities situated on the banks of rivers.
6. Due to non-cleaning of dirty drains, their water carrying capacity is continuously decreasing. The biggest drawback of town planning is that it does not pay attention to the construction of parks and playgrounds etc.
Flood measures in India
1. Construction of reservoirs
Large dams have been made on the rivers whose lower streams used to cause maximum and devastating floods, arrangements have been made to stop the rain water in the reservoirs. These large scale projects include Hirakud Dam on Mahanadi, Bhakra Dam on Damodar River Valley Projects, Sutlej Dam, Pong Dam on Beas and Ukai Dam on Tapti.
2. Flood control in marine areas
Sea floods occur in the coastal areas of Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Several projects have been undertaken to prevent erosion on beaches. Of the 320 km of coastline most affected in the state of Kerala, 311 km of coastline has been vaccinated till the end of March 1990.
Apart from this, the 42 km long sea wall has been strengthened. Similarly, in the state of Karnataka till the end of March 1990, rescue operations have been carried out to prevent sea erosion of 73.3 km long coastline.
3. Flood forecasting and warnings
Forecasting and early warning is one of the important and cost-effective measures for flood management. In India this work is being done since 1959. The Central Water Commission has set up several flood forecasting and warning stations on most of the inter-state rivers of the country. Presently 157 flood forecasting centers are functioning in 72 river basins of the country. About 5,500 flood forecasts are issued every year in India. 95 percent of these estimates are within the accepted range of accuracy.
4. Brahmaputra Flood Control Board
The Brahmaputra and Barak river basins are the major flood affected areas of the country. The Government of India has constituted the Brahmaputra Board by an Act of Parliament in 1980, to prepare and implement the Master Plan of flood control in the region.