DELUGE: A CONCERN

Every year, monsoon season occurs in various parts of the world. It has been coming sooner in recent years, accompanied by rising amounts of rainfall, or later than normal, with a considerably drier start. While monsoon-affected nations plan for the monsoons on a yearly basis, the changes due to covid-19 are making it more difficult for them to respond without help.

Recently, the heavens have opened up in the highlands of north India and along the coasts of western India in the last ten days, unleashing severe weather phenomena. More than 150 people have died because of landslides and flash floods across Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, and parts of Karnataka. At least 53 people were killed when a hilltop collapsed south of the city in Raigad, Maharashtra’s hardest-hit district. The floods in Goa are the worst since 1982. The Indian monsoon is rapidly becoming known for its unpredictable behavior of the elements. However, the country’s weather forecasters, planners, and lawmakers have yet to accept climate change as a threat. 

Most Indian cities, including Delhi and Mumbai, are ill-equipped to deal with such severe rains, with drainage systems blocked at many locations. The defense of city residents against weather oddities is jeopardized by urbanization that is uninformed by basic hydrological principles. 

Farmers in several areas have discovered that rain is falling in torrents rather than being evenly distributed throughout the season, resulting in floods and erosion, followed by times of drought. Increasing automation, on the other hand, entails heavy machinery tamping down soil and producing rutting, all of which are detrimental to the orchard and vineyard floor. Furthermore, Aquifers that used to recharge groundwater and convey rainfall to bigger water bodies have been replaced by concrete in most cities.

Therefore, it is vital to tackle this problem as soon as possible because these disasters affect the poor in return. The scale of the devastation witnessed in the preceding examples, as well as what occurred in the Bay of Bengal last year, demonstrate a lack of disaster preparedness and mitigation, an issue that affects most of the country’s metropolitan areas. 

We propose that the government develop long-term disaster management plans to reduce the impact of floods in Indian states. It is critical to enhance flood-forecasting techniques and install flood-warning systems in low-lying areas as a first step in this direction. Second, the government should devote greater resources to flood prevention, mitigation, and preparation. Third, river connection and the development of multifunctional structures and flood shelters in low-lying regions should be done on a mission-mode scale to assist minimize flood-related deaths. However, these methods will go a long way toward reducing and avoiding flood damage in Indian states. But its better to do something to prevent it all rather than sitting and watching the god’s show. 

Scholars in development studies have written on these issues, but in ecologically vulnerable places, the political costs of altering the current development paradigm are frequently substantial. The Gadgil committee report on the Western Ghats, for example, which recommended for controlling development operations, was met with opposition in the region and largely ignored by mainstream political parties. 

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