Lack of Zoning in Punjab Exacerbates Flood Risks
Punjab’s ongoing flood situation is intensified by the absence of floodplain zoning along rivers Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, and Ghaggar. Properly managed floodplains act as natural defenses against floods, recharge groundwater, and maintain water tables.
Floodplain zoning involves designating areas around rivers prone to flooding for regulated land use, reducing damage during floods. Punjab’s lack of zoning has led to encroachments and concrete construction that worsen flood impacts. Despite National Green Tribunal (NGT) directives, floodplain zoning progress remains slow. The absence of zoning affects both people and floodplain health, underlining the urgency for comprehensive floodplain management strategies across India.
What regions in Punjab are most affected by flooding, and why is floodplain zoning crucial?
Villages along rivers Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, and Ghaggar are severely impacted by ongoing floods. Floodplain zoning is vital as it designates areas prone to flooding for regulated land use. Well-managed floodplains serve as natural defenses against inland flooding, recharge groundwater, and maintain water tables.
What is the purpose of floodplain zoning, and what are the consequences of its absence?
Floodplain zoning aims to minimize flood damage by regulating land use in areas prone to flooding. The absence of zoning leads to encroachments and concrete construction, exacerbating flooding impacts. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed Punjab to implement floodplain zoning, but progress is slow.
How does floodplain zoning work, and what guidelines does the NGT provide?
Floodplain zoning designates areas prone to flooding for specific land use types. The NGT guidelines recommend locating defense installations, industries, and public utilities above levels corresponding to a 100-year frequency or observed maximum flood levels.
What challenges has Punjab faced due to the lack of floodplain zoning?
The lack of zoning has resulted in encroachments and concrete construction in flood-prone areas, intensifying flood impacts and harming floodplain health. The NGT’s directives to implement zoning have yet to be fully realized.
What risks do encroachments and concrete construction pose to flood-prone areas?
Non-suitable construction pushes floods further inland, increasing the area and damage impacted by floods. Concrete construction delays floodwater drainage, prolonging flood duration. Moreover, floodplain encroachments affect soil fertility and quality.
What is the broader significance of floodplain zoning in India?
Floodplain zoning is crucial for mitigating flood risks across India. While some states have adopted zoning measures, implementation remains limited. Lack of comprehensive floodplain management strategies poses risks to both people and natural systems, necessitating urgent action.
Category: India Nation & States Current Affairs