Amit Shah chairs a high-level meeting to review the preparedness of flood management in New Delhi today

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Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Shri Amit Shah chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparedness of flood management in New Delhi today. The Union Home Minister also reviewed long-term measures to formulate a comprehensive and far-reaching policy to mitigate the menace of floods in the country.

During the meeting, Union Home Minister also reviewed the action taken on the decisions made in the meeting held last year. Along with this, new technologies being adopted by all the agencies and the expansion of their network for flood management, were also discussed during the meeting. Shri Amit Shah also reviewed the preparations to deal with Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF). He also emphasized on optimum use of satellite imagery provided by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) by various agencies for flood and water management.

The Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India’s Disaster management is moving forward with a ‘Zero Casualty Approach’. Home Minister appealed to all the States and Union Territories to timely implement the advisories issued by NDMA for flood management. He directed the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the Central Water Commission (CWC) to complete the process of recalibrating all the equipment used in flood forecast, at the earliest. Shri Shah instructed concerned departments to conduct a detailed study of the recent floods in Sikkim and Manipur and submit a report to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). He also directed to ensure that floodgates of all the major dams are in good condition. Shri Shah said that the flood monitoring centres of the CWC should be in accordance with our requirements and of international standards.

The Union Home Minister said that the non-perennial rivers are prone to more soil erosion and siltation, resulting in floods. He directed that efforts should be made to upgrade forecast system of water level of rivers for better flood management. Shri Shah said that natural drainage system should be an integral part of the designs of road construction to deal with inundation of roads, in case of floods. Shri Shah said that at least 50 large ponds in the Northeast should be constructed so that the water of the Brahmaputra River could be diverted and stored in those ponds. He said that this will help in developing agriculture, irrigation and tourism in those areas at a low cost and also help in tackling the floods, and, it will eventually benefit the local economy.

Shri Amit Shah instructed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to take appropriate precautionary measures to prevent incidents of forest fire. For this, Home Minister stressed the need to regularly create fire lines, remove dry leaves and conduct mock drills from time to time with local residents and forest personnel. Along with this, he also asked to analyse the incidents of repeated forest fires at the same place. Home Minister also asked the NDMA to prepare a detailed manual to deal with incidents of forest fires.

The Union Home Minister directed that the IMD’s alerts regarding lightning strikes should be disseminated to the public on time through SMS, TV, FM radio and other mediums. He emphasized on the need to integrate weather, rainfall and flood warning related apps developed by various departments so that their benefits could reach the targeted population. Shri Shah directed that since the community is the first responder at the time of any disaster including flood, therefore, there should be coordination and integration in the community awareness programs being run by various agencies so that they can have maximum impact.

During the meeting, IMD, CWC, NDRF and NDMA made detailed presentations. The departments concerned also informed about the action taken on the instructions given by the Union Home Minister during the flood review meeting held last year. They also apprised about their preparedness for the current monsoon season and future action plan.

Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Shri CR Paatil, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai, Union Home Secretary, Secretaries of Ministries and Departments of River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Earth Sciences, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Road Transport and Highways, Chairperson Railway Board, Members and Heads of Departments of NDMA, Directors General of NDRF and IMD, Chairman NHAI, senior officials from NRSC and  other concerned departments including CWC were present in the meeting.

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