Nearly a month after the devastating Jammu and Kashmir flood, the Centre on Friday announced its plans to develop an advanced flood forecast system.
“The Central Water Commission is preparing an advanced mechanism with an estimated cost of Rs 350 crore to issue flood forecast to states,” Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said here.
Though at present there are 175 flood monitoring centres, in the proposed mechanism, such monitoring points would be increased and spread across the country. The CWC will collect ground based data from these points and in co-ordination with the India Meteorological Department (IMD), share them with the National Disaster Monitoring Authority as well as states about flood, she said.
In the recent floods in J&K, she said several monitoring points were washed away due to the unprecedented calamity. More than rain, havoc in the valley was due to poor drainage system and encroachment of river or river beds, she said. On the clean Ganga mission, the minister said the ministry has constituted a high-level committee to recommend on cutting down on pollution in the river.
With cremations on the ghats of Ganga in cities like Varanasi and Haridwar adding to the impurities of the river, she said the sadhus and saints have supported the idea and have assured her that they will accept any technology which the government deems fit to reduce pollution.
“To clear the new technology, we have formed a technical committee comprising Director, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Secretary Central Pollution Control Board and a senior professor of IIT-Kanpur,” she said.
Bharti said the committee will look into various types of technologies to ensure that rivers are not polluted. She termed the move as one of the several short-term measures to reduce river pollution.
On river linking, the minister said the government will proceed for any linking of river only after consulting with states. The Ken-Betwa link project between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh would be the first inter-state river linking project to be completed.