Focus: GS-III Disaster Management
Why in news?
Ill-maintained or poorly constructed river embankments have added to Assam’s flood woes in 2020.
Summary provided by Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA)
More than 5 million people of more than 5,000 villages and localities across 30 of Assam’s districts have been affected in two waves of floods since May 2020.
- Almost 200 earthen embankments have been damaged or breached and this is the major reason why Assam suffers every monsoon.
- One major feature of flood management in Assam is total dependence on embankments.
- ASDMA officials admit that the brittle embankments have often compounded flood management plans.
- Embankments are repaired or constructed from the State Disaster Response Fund.
- Assam began constructing embankments in the 1960s and most of them have outlived their utility.
- Many of these started breaching or collapsing from the 1990s, more seriously from the 2000s.
Task force and other plans
- The Centre set up a task force in 2004 that came up with flood mitigation ideas involving States and countries in the upstream and downstream of the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers and their tributaries.
- However, the suggestions were not acted upon.
- Other plans that the ASDMA began working on in 2019 was the elevated relief shelter, inspired by the traditional chang-ghar (house on stilts) of the Mising people who live in flood-prone areas.
- Three have been built and four, each to accommodate 1,000 people, are planned in 2021.
- The ASDMA came up with a standard operating procedure that warranted setting up thrice the number of relief camps than previous years to ensure social distancing for eliminating chances of COVID-19 infection.
-Source: The HinduToggle panel: Yoast SEO