Set up an inter-disciplinary committee to mitigate hardship of future rain-induced problems: Prof Swaminathan

Chennai, August 20, 2018: Now that there are signs of abatement of the rain fury in many parts of Kerala, the time has come both to look back and to look forward. The immediate concern should be relief and rehabilitation of the affected population. At the same time, an inter-disciplinary committee could be set up to mitigate hardship during similar future rain-induced problems. I have dealt with these in several reports, lectures and in the Kuttanad package. Immediately, there have to be programmes aiming at the rehabilitation of agriculture and the plantation industry. At the same time, drinking water supply should receive overriding priority. It is essential to avoid water borne diseases. For the future, we should set up in every Panchayat a Rainfall Management Centre which will prepare both drought and flood codes for anticipatory action. For example, immediately in the case of agriculture, farmers need seeds or planting materials. The appropriate varieties will have to be provided. This will need building ofSeed Banks for use on occasions like this. I hope the calamity caused by the floods will become an opportunity for a flood tolerant agriculture. At the same time, the human dimension of flood management needs adequate attention.

(Pic courtesy: India Today; Thumbnail photo credit: Ranjithsiji, Wiki Commons)