Why floods despite dams

Published: Wednesday 14 September 2011

Sunita Narain

Director General of CSE and editor of Down To Earth, an environmentalist pushing for changes in policies and practices and mindsets
A monsoon warning
As I write this my city Delhi is drowning. It started raining early this morning and within a few hours the city has come to a standstill. The television is showing scenes of traffic snarled up for hours, roads waterlogged and people and vehicles sunk deep in water and muck.
Richard Mahapatra

Senior editor, Down To Earth. He has been associated with the fortnightly since 1997 and has written extensively on rural affairs and development matters from across South Asia
Barrages spur protests
Odisha wants to dam surplus water downstream of Hirakud dam. But where’s the surplus?
In August, western Odisha was shut down 13 times to protest the state government’s decision to build three barrages on the Mahanadi river. They are meant to dam surplus water downstream of the Hirakud reservoir to generate 320 MW power, and, as recently announced, to irrigate farms...
Why Hirakud dam failed to check flood
The river has strayed from its flood control route
There is no sign of floods abating in Odisha. In the space of a fortnight, the number of people affected by the deluge in the Mahanadi river, the state's largest riverine system, increased from one million to 2.2 million on September 13. Two-thirds of the state's 30 districts are affected...
Anupam Chakravartty

Senior Reporter, Down To Earth.
Flood alert in Gujarat
Dam-induced floods feared in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and Kheda districts
Even as 96 dams in Gujarat were put on high alert following heavy rainfall on the evening of September 11, many of them were full to their capacities, including the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam in Kevadia...
Bharat Lal Seth

Senior Reporter, Down To Earth.
Courts act to protect floodplains
Centre dithers on banning encroachment in river zones
ALL construction activities along the banks of the river Ganga in Allahabad were brought to a halt last month. The Allahabad Development Authority (ADA) issued a moratorium in compliance with a state high court order to stop ongoing projects within 500 metres of the river’s highest flood level...
Dams induce severe floods
They were built for flood protection by attenuating rivers’ flow
Each year, floods, to greater or lesser degree, affect about 7.5 million hectares in India, a little over two per cent of the country's surface area. What's more, over five times this area is considered prone to floods, caused when rivers breach their banks.
Floods - 2011
After a deficit spell, the monsoon has revived in the first week of September leaving a trail of devastation
Enlarge Map >>
Rivers' fury
How floods have caused havoc in Odisha and Gujarat. A photo feature
See Photo Gallery >>

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