New Delhi : Floods are natural calamity that the country faces almost every year, in varying degrees of magnitude. The occurrence of floods can be attributed to various factors, including wide variations in rainfall both in time and space with frequent departures from the normal pattern, inadequate carrying capacities of rivers, river bank erosion and silting of river beds, landslides, poor natural drainage in flood prone areas, snowmelt and glacial lake out-bursts. Flood management schemes are formulated and implemented by concerned State Governments as per their priority. The Union Government supplements the efforts of the States by providing technical guidance and also promotional financial assistance for management of floods in critical areas. The Government of India has been making continuous efforts to assist the State Governments in effective flood management. During XI Plan Government of India had launched Flood Management Programme (FMP) for providing Central Assistance to States for works related to flood management and erosion control which continued during XII Plan and thereafter, as a component of “Flood Management and Border Areas Programme” (FMBAP) for the period from 2017-18 to 2020-21. Central Assistance to the tune of Rs.924.41 Crores has been provided to State of Bihar up to March 2021 under FMP component of this Programme. Main reason for floods in the State of Bihar is on account of increased discharge in rivers of North Bihar like Gandak, Burhi Gandak, Bagmati, Kamla, Kosi and Mahananda due to heavy rainfall in the upper catchment areas which mainly lie in Nepal. The management of floods due to these rivers has been a concern. The related issues are discussed in the existing Indo-Nepal bilateral mechanisms comprising of (i) Joint Ministerial Level Commission on Water Resources (JMCWR) (ii) Joint Committee on Water Resources (JCWR) (iii) Joint Standing Technical Committee (JSTC), (iv) Joint Committee on Gandak & Kosi Projects (JCKGP) and (v) Joint Committee on Inundation and Flood Management (JCIFM). Government of India is having regular dialogue with the Government of Nepal for construction of dams on these rivers for mutual benefit of the two countries which includes flood control.
As far as non structural measures of flood management are concerned, Central Water Commission (CWC) is the nodal Organisation entrusted with the task of flood forecasting & early flood warnings in the country. Presently, CWC issues flood forecasts for 328 forecasting stations (190 river level forecast stations
- 138 dam/ barrage inflow forecast stations). These stations cover 20 major river basins in 23 States & 2 Union Territories. Out of these 328 stations, 43 stations (3-inflow & 40 level forecast) are located in Bihar. Performance of Flood Forecasting Stations in India during Flood Season 2020 is attached at Annexure-I.
This information was given by the Minister of state for Jal Shakti & Food Processing Industries, Prahlad Singh Patel in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.