iipm think tank
> To contain or simply maintain...?
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To contain or simply maintain...?
That’s the million dollar question… involving billion lives!
Flood in essence has a long tale of a love -hate relationship with India. And though an excruciating summer makes millions beg for mercy from the weather God, the inability to contain and manage the subsequent downpour, makes sure that the request for mercy becomes resentment to the weather God.
The country sees a see-saw game of drought & flood. Fury of floods causing havoc in India is nothing new. Though successive governments have pledged to build embankments, check dams and canals to mitigate this problem, history has been testimony to what extent it has been successful…thanks to a self serving bureaucracy. And while 40 million hectares of India’s geographical area continues to remain flood prone, all that such areas receive is ritualistic aerial view from the ministers, during aftermath of the disaster. Most of the worst affected areas are northern & north-eastern states like Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Assam. Over the last 50 years, thousands of embankments have been built, under hundreds of flood preventable projects. But, ironically, flood prone areas have doubled during this period. In fact, in India; managing flood and the promise to prevent losses in the future, is a major poll plank and a convenient way of building popularity. And all this benefits those in the race for power, it’s the common man, who continues to pay the price with loss of lives, properties and future of agricultural prospects.
It’s naivety to imagine that natural calamities would one day cease to occur but containing them for the prevention of damage is definitely possible. But for that to happen, our polity has to take a firm decision; whether they want to contain the problem or simply maintain status-quo for their political fortunes.
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