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Union Home Minister Amit Shah Chairs High-Level Meeting on Flood Management Preparedness

New Delhi: Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah chaired a high-level meeting today in New Delhi to review the preparedness and long-term measures for flood management in the country. The meeting focused on the implementation of advanced technologies and strategies to mitigate flood risks and enhance disaster management policies.

During the meeting, Amit Shah assessed the actions taken on the decisions from last year’s review meeting. Discussions included the adoption of new technologies by various agencies and the expansion of their networks for flood management. Special attention was given to preparations for dealing with Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF), with an emphasis on the optimal use of satellite imagery from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for flood and water management.

“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s disaster management is moving forward with a ‘Zero Casualty Approach’,” Shah stated, urging all States and Union Territories to implement the advisories issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in a timely manner. He directed the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the Central Water Commission (CWC) to expedite the recalibration of all flood forecasting equipment. Furthermore, Shah instructed departments to conduct a detailed study of the recent floods in Sikkim and Manipur and report their findings to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). He emphasized the need to ensure that the floodgates of all major dams are in optimal condition and that CWC’s flood monitoring centers meet international standards.

Highlighting the vulnerability of non-perennial rivers to soil erosion and siltation, Shah called for the upgrade of river water level forecasting systems to improve flood management. He stressed the importance of integrating natural drainage systems into road construction designs to prevent road inundation during floods. Shah proposed constructing at least 50 large ponds in the Northeast to divert and store water from the Brahmaputra River, which would aid in agriculture, irrigation, tourism, and flood mitigation, benefiting the local economy.

Shah also instructed the NDMA and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to implement precautionary measures against forest fires. These measures include regularly creating fire lines, removing dry leaves, and conducting mock drills with local residents and forest personnel. He emphasized the need for a detailed manual to address forest fire incidents.

To improve public safety, Shah directed that IMD’s lightning strike alerts be disseminated through SMS, TV, FM radio, and other media promptly. He called for the integration of weather, rainfall, and flood warning apps developed by various departments to ensure their benefits reach the targeted population. Shah highlighted the crucial role of community awareness programs in disaster response, stressing the need for coordination and integration among various agencies to maximize their impact.

Detailed presentations were made by IMD, CWC, NDRF, and NDMA, outlining their preparedness for the current monsoon season and future action plans. They also provided updates on the actions taken following last year’s flood review meeting.

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