Do States have mechanism to share data to prepare for floods, HC asks Centre

The High Court of Karnataka on Monday asked the Union government whether there existed any mechanism amongst States for sharing information on water release from dams for enabling them to prepare for floods.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice E.S. Indiresh posed this question orally while ordering issue of notice to the Union and State governments on a PIL petition that sought directions to mitigate the impact of floods with the use of proper technology, sharing of information, and a methodical approach under the Disaster Management Act.

In his petition, Mallikarjuna A., an agriculturist and social activist from Chelur village in Gubbi taluk of Tumakuru district, pointed out that States were, at present, not bound by the law to intimate their neighbours on possible discharge from different dams into the rivers that also flow through neighbouring States.

Narrating the losses and damage due to floods caused by the release of water from Maharashtra last year, the petitioner said it was high time the State and the Centre responded before calamity struck and used technology to predict not only rain, but also likely inflow of rainwater into dams.

“With the availability of advanced technology, it is not only meaningless to say that we are losing lives, crops and thousands of crores of public and private assets, it also shows that we are lacking in will and passion to combat a calamity like flood,” the petitioner contended.

The petitioner sought a direction to the State to develop a permanent networking system for reaching out to riparian States on forecasting floods and on the regular release of water from dams.

Pointing out that the State has not conducted surveys contemplated under the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, the petitioner sought a direction for resurvey for fixing the boundaries of natural resources such as rivers, lakes, ponds, tanks, mountains, and forests, as such an exercise would help rewrite the boundaries of natural resources and villages and clear obstructions to river flow.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 9:27:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/do-states-have-mechanism-to-share-data-to-prepare-for-floods-hc-asks-centre/article31781047.ece

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