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
Due to north-east mansoon there is heavy rain in Chennai city and coastal areas leading to floods, waterlogging etc causing suffering to the people. This is time for opposition parties, NGOs etc to offer constructive actionable suggestions and to avoid criticism of the government. Criticism is to be avoided as it will divert the attention and focus of the government leaders from urget action that they are required to take, to redress the suffering of the people.
In Indonesia, as had been reported in this blog earlier, most of the rain is made to fall over sea by cloud seeding over sea. The clouds moving after cloud seeding will have less or no rain to fall over the coastal cities and coastal places. However cloud seeding should be resorted to, after the water reservoirs are full so that there is no water shortage in the later period.
One often hears news about robots performing functions of human beings in countries like Japan, US, Germany, South Korea, China and even in small countries like Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Hong Kong in factories, restaurants, hospitals, transport equipments etc and there is hardly any news about the manufacture or use of robots in India. It is true that in India there is high unemployment and introduction of robots will increase unemployment. But development of robotic science/technology cannot be neglected, and India should not lag behind even small countries. Indian government should set up robot research institutes and fund research by private establishments including industry. Even if unemployment is high, there are areas where there is danger to humans in working. India should think of immediately importing/ developing robots for use in fire fighting, rescuing people from floods, rivers and seas, use for certain works in mines, in matches, fireworks, and chemical factories and other hazardous places including in factories like cement, thermal and atomic power stations et.
Every year silt is deposited in the lakes and rivers. As the silt level increases the quantum water the lakes and rivers hold decreases. This will naturally lead to floods if the rain is heavy. In the past, farmers and others used to remove soil from the lakes for use in fields and the lakes were desilted without any effort or expenses from the government. Now there are avoidable restrictions on removing silt from the lakes. If restrictions are removed or reduced, many brick kilns will deepen the lakes enabling the lakes to hold more water, thus minimizing /preventing floods and providing more water for irrigation. As regards rivers, sand is deposited in the lakes by the water coming into the rivers. There are more restrictions on removal of sand from rivers. Government should consider removing these restrictions or selling the silt and sand to the consumers without any hassle.
Recently there were moderate to heavy rains in certain parts of Tamilnadu but in certain other parts like in many places in Dharmapuri district there were no rains. Hewever, one could see clouds every day. There are general theories on how clouds are formed and how it rains.
Cloud seeding is done by many countries including India for inducing rainfall. Now what is required is research on reducing the cost of cloud seeding.
There is also need for research on rainfall when there are no clouds over the area where rain is desired. There should be research on moving rain bearing clouds from where ever they are to where ever rain is required. The cost should be affordable. There are generally more clouds over sea than over land and rain is more required over land than over sea. During day time winds blow from sea to land and vice-versa during night time. But this does not happen some times and rain bearing clouds are not moved by winds to land during day time. Now the research should be on moving clouds from over sea to land at affordable cost.If the cost is affordable, then the clouds can be moved also from places where the rain is causing floods to dry areas. Considering the amount of time,energy, money needed to mitigate the effects and contain damages of heavy floods, expenditure on research on moving clouds is worth spending.
India-water diversion project
China has embarked on a water project costing about Rupees 4,00,000 crores for diverting annually about 45 billion cubic meters of water from water surplus southern province to water deficit northern provinces. This is only about 7- 8% of the annual discharge of water from Ganges river into the sea at the rate of about 650000cu.ft or about 18860 cu. meter of water per second.
India should undertake such large project for diverting about 50 billion cubic meters of water from Ganges river in the north to the southern states to minimize floods in the river and to irrigate the land in the water deficit states in the south. This project will widen and deepen the knowledge and engineering and technical skill of the officers. Since this is a huge project, it would be necessary to hire the services of experts from developed countries who have expertise in constructing long tunnels etc. There will be scope for hydro-electric power projects, the river/canal transportation, setting up projects requiring large quantity of water etc. The cost of the project will be very high and therefore should be undertaken as a joint project of the central and concerned state governments. However, as the project will take may years to be completed, the annual allocation for the project may be manageable.
This project was talked of sometime earlier but was not pursued. There was opposition to the project from leaders like Lallu Prasad Yadav of Bihar. Making all the stake holders to accept the project is a huge task. But there will be lesser problems if the project is taken up earlier.