Our disaster management is a disaster

Here is why. To formulate the Twelfth Plan, Planning Commission constituted a Working Group on flood management. Even when the primary responsibility for flood control lies with the states, their representatives in the working group (principal secretaries of Bihar, Assam, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Kerala) were missing from group’s deliberations. The states did not provide information about flood management works or their requirement of funds for flood prevention. There is no credible database with the states on frequency of flooding, duration and depth of inundation.

The Centre is no better. It launched the National Flood Control Programme in 1954 which led to the creation of National Flood Commission in 1976.

Tasked to evolve a coordinated, integrated and scientific approach to flood control and to draw a national plan, the commission submitted the report in 1980. The report was accepted by the government but its recommendations were not implemented. In 2001, the government set up