Taking lessons from the Kedarnath disaster, the government has finally issued a notification of conditional permission for construction, declaring flood zones of several rivers including Ganga in Uttarakhand. The government has given 60 days to hear the objections.
The Flood Plains Zone Act of 2012 was created in the state. Despite this, there was no exercise in determining the flood area of the rivers under it. After the Kedarnath disaster of 2013, it was felt that it was necessary to limit construction or other activities in the floodplain area of rivers. The then Chief Minister Harish Rawat had also insisted on marking the flood zone of the rivers for this.
Now the state government has issued a notification marking the flood zone of the Ganges river. According to the order issued by Secretary Irrigation Nitish Kumar Jha, only conditional construction will be allowed in the notified area. The District Magistrate will hear objections at his level. Explain that this flood zone of rivers is released on the basis of hundred years of river behavior.
The flood zone of the river is divided into two parts in the notification. First restricted area and second restricted.
Restricted area: only allowed
Construction works related to the embankment, flood management, mining, plantation, farming, bathing ghat construction, riverbank development, drinking water planning, water sports, water transport, bridges, irrigation, hydropower projects.
Restricted area: conditional permission for
Park, playground, temporary construction with solid waste management, plinth level from high flood level to at least one meter, and building shall be maximum two-story if the building is allowed. There will be an arrangement of sewerage etc.
Flood area in Dehradun district
Pashulok barrage from the sloping drain of Rishikesh, from Pashulok barrage to Haripur Kalan on the right bank of river Ganges. The measurement of the flood area was also released in the notification.
Flood area in Tehri district
From Srinagar Dam to Devprayag Sangam on the right bank of Alaknanda River in Tehsil Kirtinagar and Devprayag. Villages of village Susana, Mangsu, Marhi, Sankar, Naur, Gorsali, Nathan, Ranihat, etc. in Tehsil Kirtinagar. About 51 hectares of land is in a restricted area in Kirtinagar tehsil and 25 hectares in Devprayag tehsil. Similarly, notification of other tehsils has also been issued.
In Pauri and Rudraprayag
According to the irrigation department, notification has also been issued for Pauri and Rudraprayag. The same is being done for other districts.
Lessons from the Kedarnath disaster
The floods caused by the river during the Kedarnath disaster caused considerable damage to the coastal areas. It was found that people would not have to face the magnitude of floods if the construction was done away from the flood zone of the river and the damage would be less. The first condition in this is to identify the flood zone of the river. This work could not be carried forward till now.