Painavu

  • The Kerala flood of 2018 was 30 percent less intense than that of 1924 deluge, the biggest in Kerala’s history. Yet it caused a huge loss of lives, property and infrastructure. Swollen rivers ruptured their banks and floodwaters gushed through houses built on the floodplains. One reason for the un...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 10 months 2 days agoread more
  • Every time there is a huge flood in India with massive loss of lives and extensive physical damage, there is a hue and cry. Especially, if this takes place in an area not normally prone to such floods. Assam and Bihar, for instance, are regularly laid waste by floods and so, there is not much agitat...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 10 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • When the five overflow gates of the Cheruthoni dam, a part of the Idukki reservoir comprising Cheruthoni, Kulamavu and Idukki arch dam were opened one by one on August 9, 2018, a torrent of water and mud gushed out. Heavy, unceasing rains had led to the dam reaching close to its maximum capacity, fo...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 11 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • One of history’s worst dam bursts took place in Gujarat in 1979 when the four-kilometer long Machhu Dam II on the Machhu River collapsed. This led to a deluge in the industrial city of Morbi located five kilometers downstream as well as surrounding rural areas destroying thousands of homes and liv...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 years 1 month agoread more
  • While the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala have opposing stands on the Mullaperiyar dam, civil society actors have provided alternatives to the old dam whose decommissioning is bound to happen sooner or later. They have also pointed out the inappropriateness of building a new dam on Mullaperiyar. Lat...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 years 1 month agoread more
Damage to floodplains harms the riverine ecosystem, lessens groundwater recharge capacity and poses threats of flash floods. Enforcement of floodplain zoning regulation is a must to avert floods.

The Kerala flood of 2018 was 30 percent less intense than that of 1924 deluge, the biggest in Kerala’s history. Yet it caused a huge loss of lives, property and infrastructure. Swollen rivers ruptured their banks and floodwaters gushed through houses built on the floodplains. One reason for the unprecedented flood of such magnitude is unplanned construction and encroachment on riverbeds that have reduced the capacity of rivers to carry flood waters.

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The reason behind Kerala floods is a lot more than what the CWC wants us to believe.

Every time there is a huge flood in India with massive loss of lives and extensive physical damage, there is a hue and cry. Especially, if this takes place in an area not normally prone to such floods. Assam and Bihar, for instance, are regularly laid waste by floods and so, there is not much agitation over that anymore.

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As Kerala comes to grips with the worst floods in its recent history, here’s a look at what led to the calamity and what can be done to avoid it in the future.

When the five overflow gates of the Cheruthoni dam, a part of the Idukki reservoir comprising Cheruthoni, Kulamavu and Idukki arch dam were opened one by one on August 9, 2018, a torrent of water and mud gushed out. Heavy, unceasing rains had led to the dam reaching close to its maximum capacity, forcing the dam authorities to open all its gates.

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The recent earthquake in Nepal has pointed fingers yet again at the much neglected area of dam safety. Will that push India to put in place a comprehensive law that addresses this?

One of history’s worst dam bursts took place in Gujarat in 1979 when the four-kilometer long Machhu Dam II on the Machhu River collapsed. This led to a deluge in the industrial city of Morbi located five kilometers downstream as well as surrounding rural areas destroying thousands of homes and lives. While this was a tragedy, it was by no means an isolated one. Over forty dam bursts have taken place in India, and there have been other events that have shown that earthquake hazard continues to be a serious threat to dams.

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Latha Anantha of River Research Centre, Thrissur speaks to India Water Portal on the latest developments on the Mullaperiyar dam controversy.

While the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala have opposing stands on the Mullaperiyar dam, civil society actors have provided alternatives to the old dam whose decommissioning is bound to happen sooner or later. They have also pointed out the inappropriateness of building a new dam on Mullaperiyar.

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