The officials in the water ministry said, “The Union Government is under the process of creating a digital atlas. This will have maps of flood-prone areas which will provide with real-time information and warnings about any subsequent rise in the water level of local rivers and streams that can inundate crops and home”
Further, the officials added, “This project of the Central Water Commission with the help of the Survey of India and the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of the Indian Space Research Organization will help local administrations reduce the loss of life and damage to property during floods”
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A senior ministry official said, “For the first time the government will predict inundation areas at different levels of water. For example, which areas will be affected when a river’s water is a foot above the danger mark or two feet above? An evacuation plan can be made accordingly.”
The digital atlas is officially named “inundation flood advisory”. It is considered that this will be most useful in Assam. Where the Brahmaputra expands in every monsoon season and submerges large areas of land. The area largely affected by floods in Assam is the Kaziranga national park, the Majuli River Island and scores of villages close to its banks.
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A pilot project undergoing in Assam traced the Brahmaputra basin from eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh district to the international border from where the river enters Bangladesh to drain out into the Bay of Bengal. The high-resolution mapping with satellite imagery includes areas within a 2km kilometer radius of the river’s banks.
The officials said, “The ministry of water resource’s atlas project will immensely help the state administration to work with communities to protect their human and livestock and property by providing them with information to help them understand flood risks and make cost-effective mitigation decisions”
Further plans for ministry are to issue similar flood atlases for all the 20 river basins in the country by 2020.
Officials later added, “Countries such as the United States are already using digital flood maps successfully. But the flood warning system in India is based on water-level forecasting, which tries to predict how much the level will rise by calculating the flow of water into dams and reservoirs, the officials said”