Kerala

Kerala told to set up flood warning system

A view of river Pampa from Keezhukara near Kozhencherry.

A view of river Pampa from Keezhukara near Kozhencherry.  

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Eco group says conservation of all river systems a must

Pampa Punarjanai, an eco group that stands for rejuvenation of river Pampa, its tributaries, and wetlands in the river basin, has called upon the government to set up an Advanced Flood Warning System.

In a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Pampa Punarjani president M.N. Radhakrishnan Nair said that the government could very well seek the technical support and assistance from the Central Water Commission and India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Mr Nair said the August, 2018 floods, that wreaked havoc in the Pampa river basin should be an eye-opener to all, especially the planners and policy makers.

Sole motto

Mr Nair said Pampa Punarjani had been floated by a group of engineers, environmentalists, technocrats, retired civil servants and other experts, with the sole motto of rejuvenation and conservation of the Pampa, its tributaries, Achenkovil and Manimala, and the backwaters of Kuttanad.

A study carried out by the Centre for Earth Science Studies revealed that the Pampa riverbed had gone down by five to six metres from its bed level over the past three decades.

Caving-in of the river banks too was a major problem facing the Pampa due to wanton destruction of the natural protective vegetation along the banks, Mr Nair said.

The Irrigation department, along with the Disaster Management Authority, should work out the modalities for the proposed Advanced Flood Warning System in the river basins of Pampa, Periyar, and various other major rivers in the State.

Mr Nair said the Centre had sanctioned the much-awaited Pampa Action Plan for abatement of pollution of river Pampa in May, 2003, for an amount of ₹18.45 crore under the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP). The Central share in the project was ₹12.92 crore and State government’s share is ₹5.53 crore.

However, the implementation of this project was been inordinately delayed due to non-availability of the required land and delays in tendering process, ultimately lapsing the project itself. According to Central government sources, the Centre had pursued the matter several times with the State government, but to no avail, he said.

Mr Nair said the State government should set up a nodal agency for effective protection of the river Pampa and its tributaries. Cleaning up of the clogged rivulets leading to Pampa was another suggestion to ensure free flow of water into the river system, he said.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 8:17:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/state-told-to-set-up-flood-warning-system/article29506166.ece

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