Time of floods, and time for my annual letter to the galaxies beyond Milky Way (Perhaps they may listen.)
We are not suffering from floods. We are suffering from poverty.
Netherlands has only 50% of its land that is higher than 1 m from the sea. 26% of its area and 21% of its population are below sea level. Still it doesn’t get flooded. Its life doesn’t get paralysed for days, three four times every year. In fact, it is one of the richest countries in the world, is second largest exporter of food after the USA, and has more FDI into it than whole of the African continent put together.
Netherlands is the first Capitalist country of the world. It pioneered the concept of free market, modern banking, debts and credits, and rule of law that recognised the sanctity of contracts. In short, the whole system which was called Capitalism and denounced for being so by Marx, is the creation of Netherlands.
It doesn’t worship environment, it tames it. It creates artificial hills on which it builds it cities and villages, and then joins them with dykes that form its canals also. It reclaims land from the sea, instead of having some foolish Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules which prohibit construction of structures close to sea. In fact, 17% of its area has been reclaimed from sea. It has 3000 km of primary sea dykes, and 10000 km of secondary dykes.
Netherlands suffered heavy floods in 1953, which killed about 1800. Instead of chest beating in TV studios, it drew up 30 year plans and has strengthened the dykes to withstand 10000 year return period floods instead of 4000 years earlier. In fact unlike us, instead of planning to commit economic suicide in the worship of fraud called Global Warming/Climate change, it has already drawn plans and started work to face it. Anticipating a sea level rise of 1.2 m, it is already raising dykes by that height.
India is a country which now has development plans controlled by NGO bosses. They can block any intervention planned against natural disasters, because they want to preserve our environment in some pristine state. They are also the first to rush to TV studios to denounce government for not doing anything to prevent flooding, and at the same time work to put laws and rules in place to make sure that nothing can be done to prevent flooding.
There is no way to control floods except to rise above the water, literally.
In Bihar, in Assam, in every state, High Flood Levels are known. Raise all villages and towns by constructing artificial hills like Netherlands did. And raise all roads above that level. Or enclose them inside dykes all around and keep pumps ready. Keeping plinth level 1 m above High Flood Level is the norm.
For doing so, we will need money, and to have money, we will need industrialisation, and to have industrialisation, in addition to having free market economy, we will need to shut up those who claim that industrialisation causes floods. Industrialisation does not cause floods. It equips us to fight it.
In 1947, if we had leaders with brains, instead of egos and mediocrity, all this could have been accomplished by now. But there is never too late. Within a decade or two, flood waters entering into our homes will become a distant memory, instead that water will be stored and pumped to rain deficient areas of the country.
In the intensive agriculture areas, that is Punjab, Haryana, and Western UP, water table is going dangerously down. On the other hand, each year Bihar, Assam, and West Bengal get submerged in water. If we become rich, that is, if we become Capitalists, all that water will be umped, piped to Punjab, Haryana, and Western UP, and used to recharge the ground water.
But most likely our thuggish ruling elite will do nothing towards that. It will instead ration irrigation water in Punjab, Haryana, and Western UP, impoverishing those areas and killing our food security. Socialists love nothing more than scarcity and rationing. Next to rationing, they love to fight natural disasters through relief, instead of preventing the disasters. So, they will have annual relief money in the flood prone areas, instead of making them flood proof.
And of course, may be people who elect the thugs as their rulers, perhaps deserve the rain water into their homes mixed with all the dirt around, and diseases which follow. People with sub-human intellect are condemned to the sub-human lives.