Elsewhere in this blog, the need for Ministries of Disaster Prevention and Management at the centre and in the states has been stressed. The huge loss of lives and properties in Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu could have been minimized if such ministries had been established. This is a very important work which should not be left to be dealt on ad hoc basis by revenue and other departments most of which have not expertise or experience to handle . the disaster problems. Systems should be established which should jump into action as soon as disaster is anticipated or starts happening. The Ministry should have regular annual budget and it should also have large contingent fund from which amounts can be drawn without waiting for sanctions from concerned authorities. There should be offices of this Ministry in every district and places vulnerable to calamities like cyclones, floods, landslides, forest fires, droughts, accidents etc.
Elsewhere in this Blog, the need for separate full fledged ministries for Disaster Prevention and Management at the centre and the states has been stressed. The recent suffering of the people on account of heavy rainfall, water logging, floods etc underline the importance of the above suggestion. The work to be undertaken to prevent and manage the above mentioned disasters is so huge that existing arrangements are not sufficient. Even during this heavy rainfall season, while several lakes and dams are full and overflowing, several other lakes and dams are not full even to one third of the total height of the lakes and dams according to TV news reports. This shows that the lakes and dams need to be connected with each other. The water bodies need to be desilted every year. This is a huge task and if undertaken fully, the Ministry would be one of the largest spending ministries.
The suggested ministry should handle not only floods and waterlogging, but also drought, artificial rains, fires, winds, earthquakes, landslides and other disasters
If I am in power, I will take the following steps to over come the impact of drought,
- Not only remove all restrictions on digging bore wells but will also encourage and assist people to dig bore wells. Ground water level will go down but this does not matter, as when it rains the water level will automatically come up. Government will also dig bore wells near water bodies like lakes, canals etc.
- Wherever and whenever it is possible, artificial rain(cloud seeding) will be tried.
- Water areas like wells, rivers, lakes, canals, water passages will be dredged which may lead to more ground water
- farmers will be advised to refrain from planting crops like paddy which require a lot of water and cultivate drought resistant crops like ragi
- Without any elaborate application from farmers, their lands will be provided with drip irrigation system and sprinkler irrigation system.
- Panchayat, municipal and corporation waste water will be treated and used for irrigation.
- As a long term measure, desalination plants will be established along the coast.