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Amit Shah reviews flood control measures as monsoon nears

Union Home Minister Amit Shah chairs high level meeting in New Delhi, today to review overall preparedness for flood management in the context of upcoming monsoon.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired a high-level meeting in New Delhi to review overall preparedness for flood management ahead of the approaching monsoon. He also reviewed the long-term measures for formulation of a comprehensive and overarching policy to mitigate the perennial flood problems of the country.

The Home Minister directed the officials at the meeting on Friday evening to continue to strengthen coordination between the Central and State agencies to have a permanent system for forecasting of floods and rise in water levels in major catchment zones/ areas of the country.

He issued instructions 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.

The Home Minister said that 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.

The Minister advised specialized institutions like the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the Central Water Commission (CWC) to continue to upgrade their technologies for more accurate weather and flood forecasts.

He directed for timely dissemination of IMD warnings on lightning strikes to the public through SMS, TV, FM Radio and other mediums.

The minister said that 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. ‘Damini’ app triggers warning about lightning strikes three hours in advance which can help reduce losses to life and property. Complying with the direction of the Home Minister given during lthe ast flood review meeting held on 2nd June, 2022, this app has now been made available in 15 languages for easy dissemination of information.

Union Home Minister directed that there should be coherence in community awareness programmes being run by different agencies and it should be integrated to have the maximum effect since the community is the first responder.

He said that the 5 days forecast rains currently being given by IMD and CWC will be expanded to a 7 days forecast by next monsoon season so that the flood management can be further improved.

Amit Shah directed that a comprehensive software be developed by MHA and 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. He said that foreign expert agencies should also be roped in for developing this software. He added that in Aapda Mitra scheme of the Government, traditional divers in villages should also be imparted disaster rescue training.

In the meeting, presentations were made by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Chairman, Central Water Commission (CWC), MoRTH, DoWR & GR, Railway Board, DG, NDRF and Director, NRSC (ISRO). They also briefed about the action to be  taken / being taken on the  directions given by the Union Home Minister in the flood review meeting, last year and the future plan of action for the current monsoon season.