Flood plains of India

India receives an annual rainfall of 400 million hectare metres, of which 75 per cent is received in four months. Floods generally follow, bringing devastation with them. As death tolls mount, damage reaches unimaginable scales. In the last four decades the country has lost about Rs 9,720 million in damages to crop, public utilities and houses. The price of human death for each individual remains incalculable. Nearly 40 million hectare of land is vulnerable to floods, with about eight million hectares flooded annually. Ecological degradation caused by humans adds to the problem resulting from erosion, poor natural drainage, among other things.

 
Published: Wednesday 31 October 2001

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Mapping water woes
While the Ganga river and the Brahmaputra river regions make for the areas most prone to floods, states like Orissa suffers from the wrath of river Mahanadi, when the degraded mangrove system makes the region more susceptible to damage

Flushed with water

Floods are not avoidable, but the damage they cause are. Only if the cause is understood and precautions taken
Much of the problem of floods is due to drainage congestion.

On occasions floods are caused by mismanagement of water reservoirs

Despite 157 flood forecasting stations in India, the country still loses hundreds of lives and crores worth of property.

Flood of misery

The average loss over the past four decades shows the havocfloods wreak

Items
Land area affected        7.56 million hectare
Population affected       32.03 million
Human lives lost       1,504
Livestock lost       96,713
Houses damaged      11,683
Houses damaged(cost) Rs  136.615 crore
Crop damaged Rs   460.07    crore
Public utilities damaged Rs  377.248 crore
TOTAL LOSSES Rs   982.126 crore

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