The Bihar government has started using high-end technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), an early warning system and a mathematical modelling system to minimise the effects of floods in the state.
These technologies have helped various districts in the state carry out the evacuation of people and set up relief camps. More importantly, they have helped keep the death toll down — Bihar has reported only 25 deaths this year due to floods, compared to 130 deaths during the corresponding period last year.
Bihar Water Resources Minister Sanjay Kumar Jha told The Indian Express, “While we take all preventive steps to minimise damage from floods, we have started making the most of technology from this year. We have been able to alert the district magistrates of north Bihar about heavy rains 72 hours in advance.
“The use of the early warning system has helped in fewer flood-related deaths. There is no sudden flood. The district administrations and the people are getting adequate time to move to safer places, carrying out their maximum belongings and livestock,” Jha said.
During a recent meeting with chief ministers of six flood-ravaged states, including Bihar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stressed on the need to use AI and the early warning system to be able to take preventive steps.
Jha said that starting this year, Bihar has been using the services of its Flood Management Improvement Support Centre (FMISC) at Anisabad in Patna. The centre has a newly-established Mathematical Modelling Centre (MMC) under Centre of Excellence for Water Resources, Research & Development.
The centre has developed a flood forecast model with a 72-hour lead time for rivers like Gandak, Bagmati-Adhwara, Kamala, Kosi and Mahananda, which originate in Nepal. The centre also assesses the Ganga starting between Buxar and Kahalgaon.
“With Mathematical Modelling, artificial Intelligence, Internet, personal locator beacon and machine to machine learning, the centre assesses precipitation, humidity, temperature, previous seven days hydrological data and three days’ forecasted hydrological data for giving early weather forecast,” Jha said.