Dam floods

Role of dams: 2021 Flood Management In MP’s Sindh River

Guest Article by: Aishani Goswami and Rahul Singh

Walking through Dhimarpura village, in Seondha block, Datia district, Madhya Pradesh, heaps of broken clay tiles, wooden logs and other construction materials could be seen. Temporary tent-like shelters made of plastic sheets were erected in place of the houses that fell due to the floods in River Sindh in 2021.

In this article we try and put together available information to understand the role played by the Madhikheda system of dams in worsening the flood disaster in Sindh River basin in first week of August 2021. It may be noted that whenever a dam proposed, one of the claimed benefits is that the dams can help moderate floods in the downstream area. This is indeed true, provided, the dam is operated with the objective. However, when the dam is not operated with that objective, then the dam can actually end up acting like a force multiplier for the flooded downstream areas. Let us see if Madhikheda dam played that role in August 2021.

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Monsoon · Rainfall

High Rainfall days in India’s districts in August 2021

An analysis of the daily district wise rainfall data from India Meteorological Department (IMD) for the month of Aug 2021, 3rd month of India’s South West Monsoon 2021 shows that there were 431 instances when district rainfall of a day was above 50 mm. The normal monthly rainfall of India Aug is 258.2 mm and actual rainfall was a huge 24.13% below normal at 195.9 mm[i], the actual average daily rainfall in this month was about 6.45 mm. Such high rainfall instances included 371 instances when rainfall was 50-100 mm, 48 instances when it was 100-150 mm, 11 times it was 150-200 mm and just once above 200 mm. Interestingly, in June 2021[ii] and July 2021[iii] there were seven instances when rainfall was above 200 mm, when the rainfall is supposed to be much below July rainfall. As noted in detailed article[iv], the July 2021 rainfall all over India was 6.7% below normal.

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Floods · Ganga

The Everydayness of Flood: Experiences from Bhagalpur-Bihar

Guest Blog by Dr. Ruchi Shree (TMBU, Bhagalpur-Bihar)

On the banks of river Ganga in north India, Bhagalpur is a district of South-east Bihar. This district is famous for production of silk and thus Bhagalpur is also called ‘silk city’. Due to its proximity to Ganga, it is a flood prone region of Bihar and the usual trend of flood is in alternate year with varying intensity. The wider impact of flood ranges from agricultural loss to disturbances in transportation (water on railway track to vanished roads and bridges) and health hazards to environmental impacts to name a few[i]. This essay has three objectives: first, to narrate the challenges and lessons from my first close encounter of flood, specifically Bhagalpur floods, second, to probe into major reasons of flood and third, to depict the post-flood scenario. To have seen myself in three roles namely flood observer, flood victim and flood survivor is what made me sense the everydayness of flood.  

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