Floods Current Affairs

Government constitutes high-level committee for water management in northeast

The Government has constituted a high-level committee for proper management of water resources in North Eastern Region (NER) under Chairmanship of Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog.

The Committee is tasked to facilitate optimising benefits of appropriate water management in form of agriculture, bio-diversity conservation, hydro-electric power, reduced flood damage erosion, inland water transport, forestry, fishery and eco-tourism.

Composition of Committee

It will include secretaries from the ministries of DoNER, water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, power, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), departments of border management and space and chief secretaries of all eight north eastern states.

Terms of reference of Committee

It will appraise existing institutional arrangements (or mechanisms) for management of water resources of NER. It will also identify of gaps in existing institutional arrangements for optimal management of water resources of NER. It will suggest policy interventions required for optimally harnessing water resources for accelerating development in NER.

It will also spell out of actionable measures required for optimizing management of water resources in NER. It will  chalk out a Plan of Action for dovetailing of schemes and programmes of concerned Union Ministries as well as schemes of respective North-Eastern State Governments.

It will submit its report, including Plan of Action, by June, 2018. Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) will serve as coordinating point.

Background

The Brahmaputra (flows through Assam, Arunachal Pradesh) and Barak river (flows through Assam, Manipur and Mizoram) systems in NER which account for one-third of India’s run off are highly prone to floods.  Brahmaputra is one of largest river systems in world and causes considerable distress and costs on NER through frequent flooding and erosion.

During review of flood situation with Chief Ministers of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced constitution of High-Level Committee for holistic management of water resources in NER. The meeting noted thatoptimum management of water resources is cross-cutting task which requires multi-sectoral interventions and concerted strategy, including management of catchment areas in upper reaches involving concerned Central Ministries and State Governments.

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Jammu and Kashmir Government launches Jhelum-Tawi Flood Recovery Project

Jammu and Kashmir Government has launched Jhelum-Tawi flood recovery project to give push to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructure post-2014 floods in the state.

The project which is funded World Bank was formally launched Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar.

Key Facts

  • The project was conceptualised and pursued by former Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed in the aftermath of devastating floods of 2014 in the state.
  • It aims at reconstructing and recovering support in flood-affected areas in which public infrastructure and livelihoods were impacted severely.
  • It will focus on 20 flood-affected districts in state. As a follow up the Union Government and World Bank had signed a $250 million credit agreement for the project.
  • The loan was provided by International Development Association, the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm. It has maturity of 25 years, including a 5 year grace period.

Background

In September 2014, continuous unprecedented heavy rainfall had caused Jhelum, Chenab and Tawi rivers and their tributaries to flow above the danger mark. These overflowing rivers had flooded the catchment areas, particularly low lying ones for more than two weeks. It had severely affected livelihoods and had damaged the basic infrastructure in the state.

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