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Amit Shah Leads High-Level Meeting to Review Flood Preparedness Ahead of Monsoon

Union Home Minister emphasized the need for coherence in community awareness programs run by different agencies.

Shivam Dwivedi
Amit Shah Leads High-Level Meeting in New Delhi to Review Flood Preparedness Ahead of Monsoon (Photo Source: PIB)
Amit Shah Leads High-Level Meeting in New Delhi to Review Flood Preparedness Ahead of Monsoon (Photo Source: PIB)

The Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, on Friday, called for a high-level meeting in New Delhi to assess the country's overall readiness for flood management ahead of the upcoming monsoon season. The meeting also focused on long-term strategies to address the perennial flood issues in the country.

During the meeting, Union Home Minister emphasized the government's commitment, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to minimizing the loss of lives and livelihoods during disasters through effective disaster management. He shared plans to expand the current 5-day rain and flood forecast provided by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the Central Water Commission (CWC) to a 7-day forecast by the next monsoon season. The extended forecast will enhance flood management capabilities.

To further improve flood management, Amit Shah directed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to develop a comprehensive software system by March 2024. This software will enable the timely dissemination of scientific data to all early warning agencies and disaster management organizations. The Home Minister also stressed the importance of involving foreign expert agencies in the development of this software. Additionally, he has recommended to provide disaster rescue training to traditional divers in villages under the Aapda Mitra scheme.

Union Home Minister Shah instructed officials to strengthen coordination between central and state agencies to establish a permanent system for flood forecasting and monitoring water levels in major catchment zones across the country. He emphasized the need for real-time monitoring of river levels and immediate action, such as embankment monitoring, evacuation, and setting up temporary shelters, to respond effectively to impending floods during the current flood season.

Furthermore, Amit Shah advised specialized institutions such as the IMD and the CWC to continue upgrading their technologies to enhance the accuracy of weather and flood forecasts. He stressed the importance of timely dissemination of IMD warnings on lightning strikes through various mediums, including SMS, TV, FM radio, and other platforms. The Home Minister urged the promotion of weather forecasting mobile applications like 'Umang,' 'Rain Alarm,' and 'Damini' developed by the IMD, which can provide valuable information to the public.

The 'Damini' app, available in 15 languages, delivers warnings about lightning strikes three hours in advance, helping to minimize loss of life and property.

He highlighted the importance of integrating these programs to maximize their impact, as communities often serve as first responders during disasters. During the meeting, representatives from various organizations, including the IMD, CWC, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), Department of Water Resources, River Development and River Rejuvenation (DoWR & GR), Railway Board, and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), presented their plans and actions taken based on the directions provided by the Home Minister during the previous flood review meeting. They also outlined the future course of action for the current monsoon season.

The meeting was attended by Secretaries from the Ministries/Departments of Home Affairs, Water Resources, River Development & River Rejuvenation, Environment, Forests & Climate Change, and Road Transport & Highways, along with other senior officers from concerned Ministries, the NDMA, NDRF, CWC, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), IMD, and the Railway Board.

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