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Flood forecast not done by CWC as ‘Kerala didn’t put in request’

In April 2018, CWC’s manual termed ‘Standard Operating Procedure for Flood Forecasting’ listed 19 major interstate rivers that were under monitoring.

Written by Sowmiya Ashok | New Delhi |
August 19, 2018 1:30:44 am
An aerial view shows partially submerged houses at a flooded area in the southern state of Kerala, India, August 17, 2018. (REUTERS)

Kerala was not under the Central Water Commission’s radar for flood forecasting this year. A CWC official in the flood forecast monitoring department said the reason was because Kerala did not put in a request before the monsoons began and the agency largely monitors inter-state basins.

Further, since Friday, all of CWC’s hydrological observation gauges in Kerala have either gone under water or the agency has lost contact with them, the official said. “Most of our sites are under water since Friday, either submerged by the rising water or our communication has been lost. Gauges are one-two metres above the HFL (highest flood line) and they are all submerged now.”

In April 2018, CWC’s manual termed ‘Standard Operating Procedure for Flood Forecasting’ listed 19 major interstate rivers that were under monitoring. In all, it noted that flood forecasts were being issued by the CWC at 226 stations across these basins. The document listed 24 states in which flood forecasting stations were operational. The CWC issues a level forecast and an inflow forecast.

But to get on the list, the official said, a formal request is required from the state. “The request is often made in the case of interstate rivers since one state might be interested in knowing about the situation in a neighbouring state with which it shares a river. However… Kerala… largely has intra-state rivers that start from Western Ghats,” the official said.

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Mullaperiyar is the only exception, the official said, but it was monitored by a separate committee.

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First published on: 19-08-2018 at 01:30:44 am
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