Monday, October 1, 2012

We the people V/S Floods....

Around 2 lakhs people in assam are affected by floods in river Brahmaputra… this make me to write something for their suffering. We all know that rainfall in india is quite uncertain, irregular and unequally distributed. Also we know that majority of total amount of rainfall india got, is concentrated in only 3 months. This makes the condition worse, as some areas remain deficient in rainfall(even famine like conditions) and some have to face the brunt of floods(including flash floods and cloud bursting). Then what should people and governments do on their part to counter such condition which becomes quite common in some parts of the country every year. For this to understand completely we have to analyse the nature of floods in india and its relation with the geographical phenomena. Only after that we could come to the point how much consequences related to floods in india is natural or manmade. Firstly we try to figure out, regionwise the main causes of floods, for instances in the northeast, floods are caused mainly due to incessant rainfall, large amount of discharge, related landslides(in mountainous regions), etc. In northern bihar rivers flooded more due to large volume of water discharged from Nepal, than due to heavy rainfall, that’s why it is a regular phenomena whether condition of rainfall is good or bad. In areas like Punjab, Haryana and rajasthan floods are caused mainly due to sudden or heavy rainfall and lack of proper drainage as the rivers are mostly seasonal. However when we try to analyse the common causes we could understand that mostly its not always the fault of nature but human have a very important role behind this disaster. Firstly, indiscriminate cutting of trees either legal or illegal create conditions of waterlogging (areas along rivers becomes marshy or muddy)as the boundries of rivers couldn’t remain able to contain the flow of river, which ultimately becomes the cause of flood. Similarly reckless infrastructural development many times overlook the natural drainage of stream(since seasonal river mostly remain dry) and becomes the cause of floods when heavy downpour suddenly occurs.Big dams are also considered as one of the reason as when water is suddenly discharged it causes floods downstream. Also it is found that many rivers have the nature of shifting its boundaries or have nature of regular flooding, and settling down in these floodplains(area along the river which is the limit of normal flood ) is dangerous, even then due to various reasons people remain settled their & face the brunt of floods. And importantly it is found that in the case of natural disasters, relief operations are as important as prevention. Since the consequences become multiplied(even more than the disaster itself) when the relief operations are poorly managed and executed. It could be understood properly when we compare disaster situations in developed countries with india. America as well face disastrous cyclones every year but casualities are very less as compared to india, similarly japan faces different kinds of disasters very often, but have the capacity and will to recover very quickly, as we have seen many times. Definitely common people have very little role in these mighty phenomenas either during prevention or mitigation, but they could become more aware about the nature of their geographical peculiarities, and shouldn't try to disturb the balance or order of its agents like rivers and follow the guidelines prepared for its preventions. And governments must work for the people, hence always try to consider various aspect of nature while approving a project, and always show will and sincerity in working upon disaster management operations including proper rehabilitation. Only then its affect could be contained in a limited level.

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