India is immensely vulnerable to floods. Flood is a disastrous occurrence causing a huge loss of lives and damage property, infrastructure and public utilities. It is a cause for concern that the flood-related damages are showing an increasing trend. Hence the study of flood management is an important aspect of disaster management.
The recent Kerala floods have showcased the dangers of surplus water accumulation in dams. In this context, it is necessary to understand the role of dams in controlling floods and to analyze various measures taken by the government for dam safety in India.
Whether we realise it or not, the drinking water scarcity problem that we see in different parts of India today is a direct result of climate change. India is very vulnerable to climate change — melting Himalayan glaciers will produce floods in north India; erratic monsoons will create droughts in peninsular India.
Global action against climate change is not enough even if the Paris Agreement is followed in letter and spirit which is already weakening due to nations such as the US and Brazil walking away from it. Therefore India will have to assume the worst of impacts of global warming and tailor its programmes accordingly.
With the threat of floods and droughts looming in various parts of the country, there is no option but to make the 150-year-old idea, that is, Interlinking of Rivers (ILR) happen, and fast. The NDA government has always been in favour of inter-linking of rivers and it is to be hoped that the government sees ILR in the light of climate action, rather than a developmental move.
According to a new article in Nature Climate Change, more than a third of all deaths between 1991 and 2018 in which heat played a role were attributable to human-induced global warming. Overall, the estimates show that 37% of all heat-related deaths in the recent summer periods were attributable to the warming of the planet due to anthropogenic activities. Similarly, the recent incident of a rare late frost in April on some of France’s best-known and most prestigious wine-producing regions considered to be an agricultural catastrophe can be attributed to global warming. Such events are not isolated weather catastrophes but they are a warning of the climate change that is taking place continuously. Climate change is causing more frequent and intense weather events according to a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. Rising extreme weather events like tropical cyclones and others in India and other parts of the world are pointing to the looming crisis that climate change is making the world face. It is a crucial time that world leaders pay heed to and take effective measures to combat climate change as early as possible.