India is the land of monsoon climate, where we get annual rainfall concentrated on four months, beginning from June to September. Since we receive large amount of rainfall in four months, floods are usual in India.
The state of Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh are mainly affected by yearly floods. In Assam, fury of Brahmaputra is invincible and in other states Ganga and its tributaries are untamable.
When South western monsoon reaches Himalayan mountains, often cloud burst and similar downpour happens. These waters reaches the plains of Bihar, Assam, UP and causes massive flood episodes.
Indian mainland is also affected by floods caused by illogical town-planning and constructions. The Chennai floods that occurred in 2015 and Srinagar floods are direct result of town-planning with least ecological concerns.
In northern states, mostly farming community is affected by recurrent floods. Along with flood waters the major problem is inundation of farm lands in these areas. After retreat of flood waters, farm lads become waste lands for many years and makes agriculture impossible. This is especially true for Assam, Bihar and UP.
All those states have state disaster management units, but still floods do great damage to life and property. Normal life becomes hell. Along with loss of farm lands, their precious cattle and other poultry animals are lost during floods. Thus the livelihood of poor farmers are in danger after floods. Threat from contagious diseases is an added misery.
Many of these floods cannot be prevented because, usual method of flood control which is building dams is not possible in plains. Also flood waters are due to incessant rains in Nepal and Tibet regions and these waters drains into big rivers like Ganga and Brahmaputra through its numerous tributaries. Information sharing about heavy rains among India, Nepal and China is a solution, so that people can be relocated before flood reaches the plains.
To prevent overflow of rivers, river embankments can be constructed, but to a certain extent this is impractical because rivers in northern plains meanders heavily.
There are many traditional methods to tackle flood waters. These are mainly irrigation methods which receive flood waters in a controlled way and they can be used in summers for irrigation. Revival of such traditional methods and modern canals to carry flood waters are some possible small steps to control fury of flood. Such numerous small steps will make a big leap forward..!!
-Krishna Prajna Rao