Less, but in­tense

Down to Earth - - FLOOD -

the plain drained by th­ese rivers. In case of ex­treme rain­fall, flood­ing oc­curs quickly, caus­ing ex­ten­sive dam­age.

Ac­cord­ing to Ram Wangkheirak­pam, con­venor of In­dige­nous Per­spec­tives,a non­profit work­ing with the af­fected peo­ple down­stream of Map­ithel, wa­ter re­leased from the dams un­der con­struc­tion is also con­tribut­ing to flood­ing.How­ever,no study ex­ists to con­firm his ob­ser­va­tion.

The Ma­nipur gov­ern­ment has set up sev­eral hy­del and ir­ri­ga­tion projects in the re­gion that is now wit­ness­ing floods (see map).The state has five op­er­a­tional projects and three un­der con­struc­tion.Cu­ri­ously,de­spite dams and bar­rages, the planned ir­ri­ga­tion po­ten­tial has de­creased over the years. By the ir­ri­ga­tion and flood con­trol depart­ment’s own ad­mis­sion, this is largely due to in­un­da­tion or flood­ing. In the event of ex­treme rain­fall, th­ese dams are not able to store wa­ter and end up flood­ing the same ar­eas they are sup­posed ir­ri­gate, Wangkheirak­pam says. Ma­nipur is the only state in In­dia to have en­acted the Model Flood Plain Zon­ing Bill of 1975 that re­quires iden­ti­fy­ing ar­eas that get flooded and de­cid­ing land use ac­cord­ingly. But the state is yet to carry out a study on floods.

mla Shyamku­mar has writ­ten to the Union gov­ern­ment, ask­ing it to send a team of ex­perts to study Map­ithel and other dams in the re­gion.“I am not against dams but our peo­ple should know their im­pacts,else floods will keep de­stroy­ing our state,”he says.

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