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3,200 dams in Maharashtra, flood risk likely

3,200 dams in Maharashtra, flood risk likely
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The damage caused in Kerala due to the floods might repeat in several cities and towns in Maharashtra, where poor dam management and heavy rains are...

THANE: The damage caused in Kerala due to the floods might repeat in several cities and towns in Maharashtra, where poor dam management and heavy rains are found. It has more than 3,264 dams and cities like Mumbai, Thane and Nanded are at risk due to the unchecked urbanisation and poor flood control measures.

Dr. Sudhir Bhongle, expert on water and flood management, said, “On the face of it, unstoppable rains is the primary cause for any floods. However, the underlying fact is it is a manmade disaster and a calamity of priorities. The city was submerged with the meteorology department on rainfall status, choked drains, lack of open spaces, unchecked growth in the floods control line, high tide and to top it all opening of the gates of the overflowing Bhatsa, Middle Vaitarna, Barvi among others in Thane district.”

He added saying, “A study of the rain pattern reveals that in every 100 years there is 30 years of drought. In effect, in a five year cycle we experience a two year dry spell. The water levels in dams should be stored after a thorough study of the rain pattern. However, in our case the dam reservoirs are in nearfull capacity in June-July and heavy rains fill it up fast. The dams are opened up when the neighbouring areas are brimming with rain water and it leads to a deluge.”

The government has been putting it focus on construction of large dams which resulted in ignoring the key aspect of dam management. He said, “The intensity and frequency of such floods could go up. The seawater levels are rising, the duration of hot climate is extended and the regulatory machinery is lax in checking the deforestation, killing of mangroves, encroaching on all open spaces. Nature has hit back from time to time but greed prevails.”

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