With sophisticated tablet computers and smartphones and diverse social networking sites floating around the internet, getting in touch with friends and dear ones seems rather simple and convenient.But imagine a day when all terrestrial communications are snapped in the blink of an eye by a powerful earthquake.
This would also help create additional irrigational potential, the generation of hydropower, as well as overcoming regional imbalances.
The recurrence of drought and famines during the second half of the 19th century necessitated the development of irrigation to give protection against the failure of crops and to reduce large-scale expenditure on famine relief.
With the increase in population and development activity, there has been a tendency to occupy the floodplains, which has resulted in damage of a more serious nature over the years.
Often, because of the varying rainfall distribution, areas which are not traditionally prone to floods also experience severe inundation.
Thus, floods are the single most frequent disaster faced by the country.
Flooding is caused by the inadequate capacity within the banks of the rivers to contain the high flows brought down from the upper catchments due to heavy rainfall.Sandeep Baruah, senior scientist at Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science and Technology , New Delhi, explains, “When mobile phone networks are overloaded or destroyed during calamities, licensed ham radio operators from affected areas can help one communicate with stranded people." Jayant Bhide, national coordinator for disaster communication, Amateur Radio Society of India, who is currently based in Gwalior, says, “We are coordinating with hams in Australia, Europe and Turkey to create a mode of communication and provide help to those stuck in different parts of Nepal, as the country is bereft of electricity and cellular networks following the earthquake." The Bangalore Amateur Radio Club is also doing its bit.“Ham radio enthusiasts and volunteers in the city have been receiving calls from people, seeking information about those stranded in Nepal.Area prone to flood In 1980, Rashtriya Barh Ayog (National Commission on Floods) assessed the total area liable to flooding in the country as 40 million hectares (ha), which constitutes one-eighth of the country’s total geographical area.The Working Group on Flood Control Programme set up by the Planning Commission for the Tenth Five Year Plan put this figure at 45.64 million ha. 32 million ha, could be provided with a reasonable degree of protection.Due to hydrological, topographical and geological limitations, however, only 690 km3 of surface water can be utilized by conventional storage and diversion structures. Two major problems faced by the country are drought and floods, which are discussed in the succeeding paragraphs: Today, droughts and floods are a common feature and their co-existence poses a potent threat, which cannot be eradicated but has to be managed.Transfer of the surplus monsoon water to areas of water deficit is a potential possibility.They are volunteering as a third-party to provide whatever possible help,” says Lion Ajoy, an amateur radio operator and former president of the radio club.Essay topics in English can be difficult to come up with.Floods in India Floods are recurrent phenomena in India.Due to different climatic and rainfall patterns in different regions, it has been the experience that, while some parts are suffering devastating floods, another part is suffering drought at the same time.