Ahead of monsoon, Amit Shah reviews preparedness to deal with flooding
Union Home Minister Amit Shah

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday reviewed the overall preparedness for flood management in the upcoming monsoon season and measures for formulating an overarching policy to mitigate the perennial problem of flooding in the country.

Shah said at the meeting that the rain and flood forecast currently being given for five days by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the Central Water Commission (CWC) to be expanded to seven days by next monsoon season so that the flood management can be further improved, according to a statement issued by the union home ministry.

He said under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, efforts are being made in the field of disaster management to help minimize the loss of lives and livelihoods during disasters.

Shah directed that a comprehensive software be developed by the Union Home Ministry and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) by March 2024, in which scientific data will be made available to all the early warning agencies immediately for dissemination to the disaster management agencies.

The home minister also reviewed the long-term measures for formulation of a comprehensive and overarching policy to mitigate the perennial flood problems of the country, the statement said.

He directed the officials to continue to strengthen coordination between central and state agencies to have a permanent system for forecasting of floods and rise in water levels in major catchment zones and areas of the country.

Specialised institutions like the IMD and the CWC to continue to upgrade their technologies for more accurate weather and flood forecasts.

He said that timely dissemination of IMD warnings on lightning strikes to the public through SMS, TV, FM radio and other mediums should be made the utmost priority.

The home minister said foreign expert agencies should also be roped in for developing this software and added that in ‘Aapda Mitra’ scheme of the government, traditional divers in villages should also be imparted disaster rescue training.

He instructed that during the current flood season, the present and forecasted river levels must be monitored on an hourly basis and appropriate measures including monitoring of embankments, evacuation, temporary shelters, etc. should be taken by all concerned stakeholders to respond to impending floods.

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Shah said maximum publicity should be given 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.

Complying with the direction of the home minister given during the last flood review meeting held in June last year, these apps have now been made available in 15 languages for easy dissemination of information, the statement said.

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