It’s been 40 years! Update India’s flood map NOW

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Source: Down To Earth

Relevance: New flood-prone area map is essential for India’s Disaster Management.

Synopsis:

To mitigate frequent floods, India needs a New flood-prone area map.

About the news:

Recent occurrences of heavy rainfall leading to flooding across India have shown that flood-prone areas in the country go beyond those mentioned in the central monitoring map. This is because the Flood panel, on whose watch India’s flood-prone areas were demarcated, was formed in 1980.

About the Flood-prone areas demarcation in India:

Flood-prone areas
Source: Down To Earth
  • Regions susceptible to floods, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), lie mostly along the Ganga-Brahmaputra river basin, from the northern states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, covering Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and stretching to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in the northeast.
  • The coastal states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, parts of Telangana and Gujarat also witness yearly floods, NDMA observed.
Why new flood-prone area map is essential?
  • This demarcation is based on estimates made in 1980 by Rashtriya Barh Ayog (RBA) or National Flood Committee formed four decades ago.
    • Around 40 million hectares of the geographical area in India is vulnerable to floods, according to the RBA.
    • RBA also ascribed the floods to purely anthropogenic factors and not heavy downpours.
  • Over the last four decades, India has been reeling from the effects of climate change. The global rise in temperatures has led to large periods of no rain followed by extreme precipitation, an observation that is becoming a trend.
  • Extreme rainfall events have tripled in central India between 1950 and 2015, according to the science journal Nature.
  • In recent times, the southwest monsoon period has also been causing massing floods in parts of the country in recent years.
  • There will be a rise in the frequency of floods in India due to rising temperatures between 2070 and 2100, according to Climate Change and India: A 4×4 Assessment, a report by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest.
  • Overall, in 2020, 256 districts across 13 states in India reported floods due to excess rainfall.

So, the shift in the flooding patterns and frequencies demands an updated map of flood-prone areas, factoring in the impacts of climate change.

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