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Amit Shah calls for better flood forecasting, lightning SOPs

"In this meeting a number decisions were taken to have a new system of co-ordination between the IMD, Jal Shakti Ministry, CWC and NDRF," a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: June 15, 2021 10:51:58 pm
Union Home Minister Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah Tuesday called for desilting dam reservoirs, using technology for flood forecasting, and preparing SOPs for lightning at a meeting for monsoon preparedness.

“In this meeting a number decisions were taken to have a new system of co-ordination between the IMD, Jal Shakti Ministry, CWC and NDRF. He also reviewed the long-term measures for formulation of a comprehensive and overarching policy to mitigate the perennial flood problems of the country,” a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

According to MHA, the Home Minister directed officials to continue to strengthen coordination between the Central and State agencies to have a permanent system for forecasting floods and rise in water levels in major catchment zones/ areas of the country. He advised the Ministry of Jal Shakti to work out a mechanism for desilting of large dams, which will help in increasing dam storage capacity and help in flood control, officials said.

“The Union Home Minister also advised specialized institutions like the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the Central Water Commission to use state-of-the-art technology and satellite data for more accurate weather and flood predictions. The Union Home Minister directed the formation of an SOP immediately to broadcast IMD warnings on lightning strikesto the public at the earliest through TV, FM Radio, SMS and other mediums. He also directed forgiving maximum publicity to various mobile apps related to weather forecasting like ‘Umang’, ‘Rain Alarm’ and ‘Damini’, developed by the IMD, so that their benefits reach the targeted population,” the MHA statement said.

Damini app triggers warning about lightning strikes three hours in advance which can help reduce losses to life and property.

Shah also advised that studies should be conducted through satellite application on the increasing strains on our river systems. He also underlined that while being sensitive to rivers, we should also take care about water flow of the rivers. “The Home Minister directed the Central Water Commission, the Indian Meteorological Department and the National Disaster Response Force to continuously monitor the water level and flood situation in rivers and send regular reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs. He also directed the DG NDRF to immediately hold meetings with the heads of the SDRF in flood prone states,” the MHA statement said.

According to the ministry, complying with the directions given by Shah during the flood review meeting held last year on July 3, the Central Water Commission (CWC) has started to issue 5-day advance inflow forecast for all the reservoirs in the country.

Shah directed the Ministry of Jal Shakti and CWC to further set up an empowered group of experts for providing practical guidance to dam authorities for taking timely and advance action for release of water and in order to further reduce flooding and minimize loss to property and lives, Officials said.

A large area in India is prone to flood in which Ganga and the Brahmaputra are main flood basins and Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are most flood prone states.

“The decisions taken in the meeting will go a long way to mitigate the sufferings of the lakhs of people in the country who have to face the fury of floods in terms of damage to their crops, property, livelihood and precious lives,” the MHA statement said.

The meeting was attended by Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat; Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai and secretaries of Ministries/ Departments of Home Affairs, Water Resources, Earth Sciences, Member Secretary NDMA, Director Generals of IMD and NDRF, Chairman, CWC and other senior officers of concerned Ministries.

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