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Water man's mantra to tackle floods

Last updated on: September 10, 2007 17:10 IST
Magsaysay award winner Rajendra Singh has the solution to Bihar's devastating flood.

According to Singh, neither big dams nor more embankments are going to help Bihar get rid of annual feature of devastating floods. The solution lies in a simple and cost effective model of decentralised water management.

Floods in Bihar this year have claimed over 660 lives, affected 21.5 million people and caused extensive damage.

Singh said it was wrong to suggest construction of big and high dams and more embankments as solutions to tackle floods. "I strongly feel that decentralised water management is the need of the hour and the only feasable answer to get rid of floods in in the state," Singh, also popularly known as India's 'water man,' pointed out.

He stressed that if the Bihar government gave it top
priority, the state will be able to get rid of the annual feature of devastating floods and millions of people would not have to be worried about miseries and pain caused by floods.

Singh said that keeping in view the speedy water flow from high catchment areas in the flood prone north Bihar districts bordering Nepal, the government will have to construct the small size check dams, bunds and water bodies.

"They will work like a break for fast flowing water and thus control floods," he said.

He reiterated that the government will not have to arrange for more funds for implementing decentralised water management.

The construction of small size check dams, bunds and water bodies could be met from funds allotted to irrigation and water management schemes and Jawahar Rozgar Yojna, he said.
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna