Flood is a complex outcome of an interface between geological, physiographical, hydrological, meteorological and anthropogenic dynamics. It mandates high computational techniques for the analysis of a large volume of hierarchical pictorial data. GIS technology, inseparably interleaved with remote sensing, helps to panoramically beam complex issues involving river floods and the feasibility of detecting and mitigating them.
Kerala has witnessed one of the most devastating floods in history. Many lives and livelihoods were lost in just a few days. To reduce future occurrences and the impact of such calamities, it is important that we focus on implementing and improving the measures that can offer greater resilience.
Given India’s population, its density, concentration in particular geographies and weak state of its institutions of governance, adopting precautionary measures to disaster preparedness becomes imperative. These measures should have roots in deep, systemic scientific analysis based on flexible, responsive governance structures.
A psychological change and not just rules, regulations and institutions are needed for disaster risk reduction. Voluntary compliance of safety norms can be brought about only through sustained investment and creation of innovative ways of risk communication.
Rapid urbanisation in India that has taken place in recent years has paid little attention to preservation of catchments and wetlands. In the absence of these—absorbing rainwater and enabling groundwater recharge, the ill effects of extreme rainfall events has been compounded.
Rapid urbanisation, combined with changing courses of river bodies are posing new challenges for flood management. The existing mechanisms for flood risk mitigation are inadequate for addressing the risks caused by floods in the present scenario. Recent floods in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand are cases in point.
Disaster phases are not linear. They may overlap and even occur simultaneously. The complexities in disaster phases are attributed to the social, cultural, economic, political forces influencing the web of flow— and disaster risk management needs to consider moving beyond conventional notions of phases.
River management in India must be made a priority and strict laws should be enforced to preserve the river space. The floods in Kerala serve as a reminder that serious measures must be taken by the government to combat these natural phenomena.
The definition of disaster has been continuously changing due to the vulnerabilities and risks attached to it. However, despite being defined as natural, disasters tend to have political, cultural, economic and social impacts as well.
The statistics of road accidents in India are alarming. Development and progress on one side translates into a growing motor traffic on the other, and then Indian roads are far from ideal and can hardly ensure a smooth and continuous flow of traffic. No wonder stress on roads coupled with an irate driver inadvertently leads to conflict, road rage and accidents. With the growing population in cities of India , the load on the roads have increased. The smallest error in judgement can injure pedestrians....