Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti took a high-level meeting to review the flood situation in the country and the actions being taken at the national level in New Delhi today. The officers briefed her about the flood situation in various parts of the country and the pro-active actions taken by the concerned organizations under the Ministry in mitigating the effect of floods.
The Minister was briefed that Central Water Commission (CWC) had taken pro-active steps during the floods by way of issuing around 3200 flood forecasts to all concerned user agencies which have been extremely beneficial to the district administration in timely evacuation and saving of lives of millions of people. Further, Ministry has issued seven specific district-wise advisories on anticipated floods and dam-wise advisories for water release wherever applicable to facilitate early NDRF/SDRF deployment and operation of reservoir gates. Another significant step was taken by the Ministry, since June 2017 is that three-day advance flood advisories based on the rainfall-runoff model have been made available for all the 19 river basins online, for the benefit of all stakeholders.
The Minister directed that all the concerned organizations under the Ministry shall extend all possible help to the flood affected people. She directed that CWC, GFCC and Brahmaputra Board, in consultation with the related Central Ministries and State Governments, shall undertake an exercise to identify and map reaches vulnerable to erosion and landslide along the banks of the rivers and suggest possible remedial measures
Sushri Bharti emphasized that long-term solution to mitigate flood and droughts lies in the interlinking of rivers along with the building of large storages. She said Ministry has obtained all clearances for Ken-Betwa Link Project in MP and UP. The Minister was pleased to state that Uttar Pradesh Government has conveyed its support to Ken Betwa river interlinking project and the response of Madhya Pradesh Government is expected to be received soon. The Government of India is eager to implement this first river interlinking project for the benefit of the people of Bundelkhand region.
The DPR of Damanganga-Pinjal link and Par-Tapi-Narmada interlinking projects are in advanced stage. Further, the Kosi –Mechi link and Kosi-Ghagra link envisaged in the Himalayan region would greatly attenuate high flood intensity in the Ganga Basin.
The Minister said Government of India is having continuous dialogue with the Government of Nepal at various levels to mitigate devastation caused by the flood from the rivers coming from Nepal through the planning of various storage dams jointly viz. Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project on river Sarada; Sapta Kosi High Dam Project and Sun Kosi Storage-cum- Diversion scheme is proposed in the Sapta Kosi Basin. In Brahmaputra Basin, a Committee of the Ministry has assessed storage requirements of 9.2 BCM in Siang, 0.6 BCM in Dibang, 1.61 BCM in Lohit and 1.91 BCM in Subansiri sub Basins. A proposal for construction of single-stage Siang Upper Multipurpose Storage is under active consideration of the Ministry.
The Minister will visit Uttar Pradesh on 21st August and Bihar on 25th August for discussions on flood-related issues with the State Governments. She is also planning to visit Uttarakhand in connection with India-Nepal Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project. Meanwhile, Dr. Amarjit Singh, Secretary, MoWR, RD & GR is already on a visit to Assam for the survey of flood-affected areas.