Water water every where, all the boards did sink…

Floods displace many in Bihar

Picture Courtesy: Indian Express

Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have been the two states in the north Indian- eastern region mostly prone to floods because of the various reasons:

  • Majority of rivers have their water coming in from Nepal and Tibet and whenever there is heavy rainfall, because of the absence of dams in the way of these rivers, the water is released by the respective countries into the tributaries or in the rivers leading to the flooding of the lower plains.


  • Rivers while flowing downwards from the mountains to the plains, bring with themselves heavy content of detritus in the form of gravel, sand and silt. These rivers on reaching the plains get a brake in their speed because of the low relief topography, thereby leading to detritus spread and consequent raise of the riverbed leading to floods.
  • The Alluvial Plains of U.P. and Bihar face an exponential population increase rate thereby leading to more deforestation, more land encroachment and more land degradation. The people have even started encroaching the flood plains. Thus a simple hike in the water level of the major river basins affects the regional diaspora severely.
  • Lack of a proper desilting policy, leading to high siltation levels and increase in water levels frequently.
  • Lack of planning, management and preparedness in the Flood prone regions because of the apathy shown by the local Authorities and local populations.

Though, the Desilting policy formulation may take some time to come up, the immediate solutions to such natural disasters can be achieved by active support from National disaster Response force, afforestation in the areas near to the river embankments, clearing encroachments in the flood plains, proper underground drainage planning, multiple dams in the river basin to stop the intensity of flow in the youth and mature stage of the river, better preparedness by using satellite follow-ups (NAVIC) and Sendai framework. Also the surplus water in such situations can be further utilised by local interlinking of rivers, after a detailed feasibility study.

Though water is a state subject, the recent flooding in Bihar and UP and situations like such, need a better preparedness, awareness and coordination by Central, state, local authorities and the populations living in the vulnerable regions.


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