Flood Management Information System Centre

Floods - Status & Context

Flash Floods

i) Flash floods forecasting and warning systems using Doppler radars will be installed by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) by September 2009. ii) As a preventive measure, the inhabitation of low-lying areas along the rivers, nallas and drains will be regulated by the state governments/State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs)/ District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMAs). iii) Landslides and blockages in rivers will be monitored by the Central Water Commission (CWC)/National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA)/state governments/SDMAs with the help of satellite imageries and in case of their occurrence, warning systems will be set up to reduce losses. If possible, appropriate structural measures to eliminate the damage in case of sudden collapse of the blockages will also be taken up.

Areas Prone to Floods

The Ministry of Water Resources (MOWR) and the state governments/SDMAs/DDMAs concerned will urgently under take identification of areas prone to floods along with names of villages/talukas or tehsils/districts in a scientific manner in collaboration with the NRSA and Sur vey of India ( SOI).

Damages Caused by Floods

There is lack of documentation on floods and flood damage. The state governments will ensure that each and every flood event is properly documented and flood damage assessment is made on a scientific basis with the help of latest technological advancements in the field of remote sensing through satellites etc

Drainage Congestion and Water-logging

The MOWR along with the MOA and the state governments will, by the end of March 2008, make a scientific assessment of the area suffering from drainage congestion and water-logging.

River Erosion

The MOWR along with the state governments will under take river-wise studies of the problem of erosion and estimate the area liable to erosion by rivers, identity vulnerable spots and plan remedial measures to protect such areas. Latest technological developments for low cost measures, such as reinforced cement concrete (RCC) porcupines, will be considered while planning such measures.

Littoral Drift in River Estuaries

Straight cuts into the sea with a view to make the slope steeper in outfall reaches are sometimes considered as one of the effective measures to overcome the problem. These measures must be taken only after an intensive study on the mathematical and hydraulic models is carried out so as to avoid the risk of increased flooding in case of high tides, cyclonic storms and tsunamis.

Snow-melt/Glacial Lake Outbursts,Formation and Subsequent Bursting of Landslide Dams

While the guidelines for landslides will be issued by the NDMA separately the MOWR/CWC and the state governments will, in collaboration with NRSA, monitor the hilly areas liable to snow avalanches, blockages in rivers due to landslides etc. for such events and in the case of their occurrences, install warning systems for reducing the loss of life and property in the areas likely to be affected. They will also take remedial structural measures, if feasible, foraverting the danger.


The IMD and CWC in association with state governments will develop forecasting and warning systems in areas prone to floods caused by cloudbursts

International Dimensions of the Flood Hazard

Negotiations upon issues such as establishment of hydro-meteorological stations and transmission of their data to India on a real time basis, afforestation, catchment area treatment (CAT) works and construction of reservoirs will be expedited by the MOWR and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Implementation of the Recommendations of the Experts’ Committees/Working Groups/Task Forces.

The MOWR and the CWC will, in collaboration with the state governments, closely monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the Experts Committee to review the implementation of the recommendations of the RBA-2003 and the Task Force on Flood Management/Erosion Control-2004.

Institutional Framework and Financial Arrangements

National Institute of Disaster Management

It will net work with other knowledge-based institutions and assist in imparting training to trainers, DM of ficials, etc. It will also be responsible for synthesising research activities and will be geared towards emerging as a ‘centre of excellence’ at the national and international levels

Central Water Commission

The MOWR will strengthen and equip appropriately the RM wing of CWC.

Ganga Flood Control Commission/Ganga Flood Control Board

The MOWR will take steps for strengthening the GFCC appropriately.

Brahmaputra Board/High Powered Review Board

The MOWR will take immediate action for restructuring/strengthening of the Brahmaputra Board.

National Flood Management Institute

The MOWR in close collaboration with the NDMA, will establish a National Flood Management Institute (NFMI) as a centre of excellence with experts in its faculty and having state-of-the-art equipment at an appropriate location, in one of the flood prone states. The institute will be functional by the end of December 2010. Till then the NWA will under take these activities in addition to its current functions.

River Basin Organisations

The MOWR has set up the Brahmaputra Board and GFCC to look af ter FM in Brahmaputra and the Ganga river basins respectively. The MOWR in consultation with the state governments, will take appropriate action in regard to the establishment of such organisations in other flood prone river basins and in strengthening of the CWC, Brahmaputra Board and GFCC.

State Disaster Management Authority

Management Authority (SDMA), headed by the chief minister will be established by the state governments to lay down policies and plans for DM in the state.

State Executive Committee

All state governments will appoint experts in FM in the faculty of their administrative training institutes, which will collaborate with the NFMI in organising the training of personnel in the field of FM. Every state government will constitute a State Executive Committee (SEC) to assist the SDMA in the performance of its functions.

District Disaster Management Authority

At the cutting edge level, the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) headed by the District Magistrate, with the elected representative of the local authority as the co-chairperson, will act as the planning, coordinating and implementing body for DM and take all necessary measures for the purposes of DM in the district in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the NDMA and SDMA

Local Authorities

PRIs and ULBs will ensure capacity building of their officers and employees in DM, carryout relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in the affected areas and will prepare DM plans in consonance with the guidelines of the NDMA, SDMAs and DDMAs.

State Disaster Response Force

To augment their capacities, all state governments/SDMAs will organise, from within their armed police force,adequate personnel for the constitution of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) with appropriate disaster response capabilities. Under the aegis of the NDMA, the states will raise the SDRF.

Intra-state Multi-sectoral Coordination

The state governments/SDMAs will establish appropriate multi-disciplinary mechanisms, whose clearance of the proposals of various departments with respect to the FM angle will be mandatory, before the works are sanctioned by them and taken up for implementation by the departments concerned. The mechanisms will be empowered to make recommendations for making the works flood safe as well as ensuring that they do not lead to increase in vulnerability of the areas to floods and drainage congestion.

Plans of Central Ministries/Departments

The various measures for FM recommended in the guidelines will be funded respectively by the central ministries and departments and state governments concerned by making provisions in their annual and Five-year Plans. Funding will also be available through special mitigation projects to be formulated and implemented by the state governments/SDMAs under the overall guidance and super vision of the NDMA. In addition 10 per cent of Calamit y Relief Fund (CRF) can also be utilised for purchase of equipment for flood preparedness, mitigation, rescue and relief.

State Plans

The various measures for FM recommended in these guidelines will accordingly be included by the state governments in their state plans.

Centrally sponsored/Central Sector Schemes

The MOWR, on the request of the state governments and subject to availability of funds, will include some of the schemes recommended in the guidelines for funding under these schemes.

District Planning and Development Council Funds

Certain percentage of funds available to District Planning and Development Council in the flood prone areas will be allocated for implementation of FM schemes in the district.

Calamity Relief Fund

The issues of extending duration in which the state governments are required to complete repair of damaged infrastructure and inclusion of drainage improvement works within the ambit of CRF, will be resolved after the deliberations of the Thir teenth Finance Commission.

National Flood Mitigation Project

The NDMA will take action to expedite preparation of DPR and its approval for implementation by the central minitries and departments and state governments.

Flood Insurance

The Ministries of Finance,Agriculture and Water Resources,the state governments and the insurance companies will jointly take up studies for a graded system of insurance premium according to flood risk in flood prone areas of the country. The MOWR, in consultation with the state governments will explore the possibility of introducing schemes where insurance of structures, buildings and crops in flood plains is made compulsory. Consultations on the proposal will be held with all the players and stakeholders and the scheme implemented in a few selected areas on experimental basis. Once successful, the scheme will be implemented on a larger scale. The value of such scheme can not be over stated.

Flood Prevention,Preparedness and Mitigation

Embankments/Banks,Flood Walls, Flood Levees

The circumstances,in which embankments/ flood walls/flood levees will be constructed for prevention of flooding,can only be decided after carrying out detailed hydrological and morphological studies regarding their favourable and adverse effects.State governments/SDMAs will evolve date lines and priorities for carrying out studies in their States. It is only then that embankments with properly designed and located drainage sluices, spilling sections and anti-erosion measures in combination with other works such as reservoirs, channel improvement works, drainage improvement structures, etc. will be planned and implemented as a short-term and/or long-term solution to the flood problem. Ongoing embankment projects will also be reviewed with respect to their location and designs.

Channel Improvement

Wherever required and subject to techno-economic considerations,the state governments will identify the locations and take up appropriate channel improvement works to increase the velocity and/or the area of flow and reduce the flood level in the river depending upon site-specific conditions.

Desilting/Dredging of rivers

The MOWR, CWC and the state governments/SDMAs will study the problem of rise in river beds in a scientific manner with the help of science and technology,academic institutions and corporate sector firms of repute and explore the techno-economic viability of desilting/dredging as a remedial measure to mitigate the effects of rise in the river beds.

Drainage Improvement

The state governments/SDMAs will review the adequacy of existing sluices and drainage channels in areas suffering from drainage congestion. If the capacities of existing sluices in embankments and drainage channels are inadequate, they will be improved by increasing the vents and improving outfall conditions. State governments/SDMAs will prohibit the blocking of the natural drainage channels and sluices by an appropriate law and improve their capacity and construct new channels and sluices to ensure flow of excess rainwater in the area.

Diversion of Flood Water

Wherever the capacity of river channels passing through the towns and cities is inadequate and cannot be improved to the required extent, state governments/SDMAs will study the feasibility of implementing the schemes for diverting excess water to existing or new channels by bye-passing them to prevent flooding.

Catchment Area Treatment/Afforestation

The state governments/SDMAs will, take up appropriate watershed management measures including afforestation, check dams, detention basins etc in the catchment of rivers to prevent soil erosion, enhance water conservation and minimise water and sediment runoff.

Anti-erosion Works

The state governments/SDMAs/DDMAs, wherever required and if relocation is not possible on social, technical and economical considerations, will plan and implement appropriate anti-erosion measures such as revetments, slope pitching, permeable and impermeable spurs using conventional materials and/or geo-synthetics for protection of towns, cities, industrial areas, groups of thickly populated villages, railway lines, roads and embankments from erosion by rivers in a time-bound manner. They will also review RR policies for including provision for RR of people who cannot be protected against river erosion on techno- economic considerations. Upon receipt of specific requests from the state governments, the CWC, the GFCC and the Brahmaputra Board will assist them in survey, planning, design and implementation of these measures.

Inspection,Rehabilitation and Maintenance

The state governments/SDMAs will draw a programme of inspection of all structural measures twice a year,once before the commencement of the monsoon and again after the monsoon has withdrawn and ensure that restoration/strengthening measures of vulnerable spots are carried out before the commencement of monsoon every year. They will earmark adequate funds for the same in their annual budget and assign responsibility to individual officials for completing the same.

Dams,flood embankments, levees and the works taken up for their protection against erosion etc. will be regularly inspected during floods for identification of vulnerable spots and immediate measures to strengthen them will be implemented. In case of apprehension of any breach or over topping, people living in the area will be warned of the danger and the civil administration, with the help of NDRF, SDRF and/or the army will take steps for evacuation, rescue and relief.

Flood Proofing

The state governments/SDMAs will provide adequate number of raised platforms/flood shelters at suitable locations in the flood plains with basic amenities such as drinking water,sanitation, medical treatment, cooking, tents, lantern etc. for the people to take shelter during floods.

Creating Awareness

The state governments/SDMAs will take steps to create awareness to the type of illnesses and other health problems that can result in the af termath of floods, to all the medical teams and the community at large. Hygienic practices e.g. hand washing with soap and use of the toilet for defecation, use of boiled water or adding chlorine to water and safe food cooking by disease-free persons will be promoted.

Flood Forecasting and Warning in India

Expansion and Modernisation of Flood Forecasting Services

The CWC, IMD and the state governments will increase the density of the basin-wise network of rain gauge and river gauge stations and establish basin-wise system of FF and early warning. Various FF initiatives as listed below will be taken by the CWC, IMD and the states.

Coordination among the Central Water Commission,Indian Meteorological Department and the Statess

The state governments will,as so on as possible,and not later than March 2008,establish a mechanism wherein representatives of the CWC, IMD, NRSA and the states interact with each other, exchange data on a real-time basis and formulate the flo od forecasts and warnings, which are more reliable and understandable by the forecasters, administrators and the public to minimise loss of lives and proper t y on account of flo ods. The CWC will also forecast the area likely to be inundated corresponding to the expected river water level.

Cooperation with Nepal

The system of hydro-meteorological observations and transmission of data will be modernised by installing automatic sensors and satellite-based transmitters. Negotiations in this regard with the government of Nepal will be expeditiously concluded by the MOWR/MEA.

Cooperation with Bhutan

The system will be modernized by the CWC with the installation of automatic sensors for observation of data and satellite-based transmitters for its transmission on a real-time basis.

Cooperation with China

Negotiations with China will be expedited by the MOWR and MEA for extending cooperation with respect to exchange of hydro-meteorological data of rivers common to China and India on more rivers and by increasing the frequency of transmission to an hourly basis. The ongoing effort for reaching an understanding for passing information on blockages in rivers and release of water from the reservoirs constructed on the rivers and their tributaries will also be expedited and a mechanism for exchange of information put in place at the earliest.

Dams,Reservoirs and Other Water Storages

Natural Detention Basins

The state governments/SDMAs will study the availability of natural depressions,swamps and lakes in the vicinity of the rivers and wherever required and feasible, utilise them for temporary storage of floodwaters.

Dams and Reservoirs

The state governments/SDMAs/central agencies, wherever feasible, will therefore plan all the new dams and reservoirs with specific flood cushion provisions, prepare their Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) and complete the works in India by the year 2020 and in Nepal and Bhutan by the year 2025.

Dam Safety Aspects

Pre-monsoon and post-monsoon inspections of dams will be carried out by experts and subsequent recommendations implemented by the state governments/SDMAs in a fixed time frame to ensure continued service and safety.

Regulation and Enforcement

Flood Plain Zoning Regulations

The state governments/SDMAs will enact and enforce appropriate laws for implementing flood plain zoning regulations by March 2009.

Incentives and Disincentives to States for Enactment and Enforcement of Flood Plain Zoning Regulations

The MOWR will, in consultation with the state government and the CWC evolve a scheme of incentives and disincentives with respect to the central assistance to encourage the states for enactment and enforcement of flood plain zoning regulations.

Encroachments into the Water ways and Natural Drainage Lines

The possibility of removing buildings/ structures obstructing existing natural drainage lines will be seriously considered by state governments/ SDMAs. In any case, and with immediate effect, unplanned growth will be restricted by state governments/SDMAs so that the construction of structures obstructing natural drainage or resulting in increased flood hazard is not allowed.

Legal Framework for Making Infrastructure Flood Resilient

An appropriate legal framework will be developed by the state governments/SDMAs so as to make it mandatory for obtaining clearance for the plans for construction of the infrastructure in flood prone areas from states’ irrigation/flood control/water resources departments with respect to their safety against floods and ef fects thereof on the vulnerability of the area to floods and drainage congestion, who will process the cases in a fixed time frame.

Survey of Flood Prone Areas

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has formulated,for the Eleventh Five-year Plan period,a programme for Disaster Management Support(DMS) services wherein “creation of digital,thematic and cartographic data base for hazard zonation and risk assessment and realisation of national database for emergency management have been identified as one of the programme elements.Under this programme, ISRO and NRSA have planned to cover about 1 lakh sq km (10 million) every year for development of close contour information of ground using the ALTM system thereby envisaging to cover all the priority flood prone areas in a period of five years. Phasing of the area to be surveyed will be done by them in consultation with the CWC so that the most vulnerable areas are covered first.

Wetlands: Conservation and Restoration

The reclamation of the existing wetlands/natural depressions will be prohibited by state governments/SDMAs and they will formulate an action plan for using them for flood moderation.

Watershed Management including Catchment Area Treatment and Afforestation

The Ministry of Agriculture(MOA) and Ministry Of Environment and Forests (MOEF) will, in collaboration with the NDMA, MOWR and state governments, implement watershed management including catchment area treatment and af forestation programmes to improve land and water management which will, in turn, result in flood moderation and sediment management in rivers.

Coordination and Enforcement

The state governments will put in place mechanisms for the enforcement of the acts, laws and rules made by them and identify the officers who will be responsible for their implementation and make them accountable for any lapses/violations.

Capacity Development

Flood Education

The state governments will strengthen FM education by facilitating the incorporation of the best available technical and non-technical inputs on FM in educational curricula.

The MHA and MOWR in consultation with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the state governments will promote the efforts of flood education based on the development of high-qualit y education materials, textbooks and field training.

The MHA and MOWR, in consultation with the MHRD, will encourage the CBSE to introduce modules of FM in classes XI and XII as well. The state governments/SDMAs will encourage their school boards to develop similar content in their school curriculum.

The MHA and MOWR in consultation with the MHRD, All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), Universit y Grants Commission (UGC), Council of Architecture (COA), Institution of Engineers (IE) and the state governments will develop suitable modules for inclusion in the curricula of architecture and engineering courses in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and other universities, colleges and polytechnics of engineering and architecture to equip the students with the requisite knowledge of flood-proof design and construction techniques.

Target Groups for Capacity Development

Specially designed public awareness programmes will be developed by the state governments/SDMAs/DDMAs for addressing the needs of physically handicapped and mentally challenged people, women and the elderly. The states Police Force, Civil Defence, Home Guards and SDRFs will also be covered by such efforts. The people will be made aware of the need to keep special kits containing medicines, torch, identity cards, ration card and non-perishable eatables such as dry fruits, roasted chana etc. ready before commencement of monsoons so that, they can carry the same with them, in case, they have to be evacuated. The community will also be trained for preparation and utilisation of improvised flood rescue devices with household articles.

Capacity Development of Professionals

The NIDM will, in consultation with reputed knowledge institutions, develop comprehensive programmes and a national plan for creating a pool of trainers from among trained faculty members of engineering and architecture colleges as also among professionals.


The state governments will be encouraged to introduce a five-year quality improvement in accordance with these guidelines,the NIDM and NFMI will evolve action plans and national strategy,in collaboration with the ATIs and other technical institutions, to offer a comprehensive curriculum related to flood mitigation management,preparedness and response in the form of training modules for the various target groups and initiate the design, development and delivery of the same at the earliest by June 2008. The NDRF, SDRF and Civil Defence coordinated by state governments/ SDMAs/DDMAs, will impart training to public in flood preparedness, flood mitigation and response.

Research and Development

The state governments will proactively support application-oriented research and developmental activities to address contemporary challenges, generate solutions, and develop new techniques to improve their sustainability in floods. The MOWR will, with the support of the CWC, NRSA and the state governments arrange for systematic collection of data and incorporate the same in its data bank with an efficient retrieval system.

The MOWR and the CWC will provide necessary assistance to the state governments in respect of studies for quantification of flood risk. The MOWR will, in collaboration with nodal scientific agencies and institutions such as the NRSA, SOI, etc. ensure the preparation of large- scale hazard maps of flood prone areas of high vulnerability


The MOWR will under take the documentation of the history of flood- related activities in India. A number of documents on floods that have been authored in the past have now become difficult to access or are out of print. The MOWR will launch a special initiative to digitise these documents from various sources and save the archives on electronic formats.

Flood Response

Search and Rescue Teams

The state governments, through the ATIs, will develop procedures for formally recognising and certifying such trained search and rescue team members; they will also provide suitable indemnity to community level team members for their actions in the course of emergency response following a flood.

Incident Command System

All response activities will be undertaken at the local level through a suitably devised Incident Command System (ICS) coordinated by the local administration through the EOCs. State governments will commission and maintain EOCs at appropriate levels for the coordination of human resources, relief supplies and equipment.

Institutionalising the Role of Community Based Organisations, Non-governmental Organisations etc. in Incident Command System

A number of organizations, like NGOs, self- help groups, CBOs, youth organizations such as NCC, NYKS, NSS etc., women’s groups, volunteer agencies, Civil Defence, Home Guards, etc. normally volunteer their services in the aftermath of any disaster. Village level task forces will also be constituted, on voluntary basis, for better preparedness of the community. The state governments/SDMAs and DDMAs will coordinate the allocation of these human resources for performing various response activities. State governments will work with these agencies to understand and plan their roles in the command chain of the ICS, and incorporate them in the DM plans

Dissemination of Information

The state governments will utilise different types of media, especially print, radio, television and Internet, to disseminate timely and accurate information.

Involvement of the Corporate Sector

State governments will facilitate the involvement of the corporate sector in making available their services and resources to the government during immediate af termath of flood.

National Disaster Response Force( NDRF)

The NDRF battalions will also be provided with communication equipment for establishing last mile connectivity.

Fire and Emergency Services in the Urban Local Bodies

The fire and emergency services in the flood prone areas will develop adequate capacity to respond to serious flood situations,in addition to managing fires.

State Disaster Response Force

To argument the capacities of the states, all state governments will constitute, from within their armed police force, adequate strength of personnel for the SDRF with appropriate disaster response capabilities.

National Reserves

The National Reserves (NRs) will be created by procurement and stockpiling of items commonly required to provide immediate and emergency relief to victims of major natural and manmade disasters.


The information on IDRN will be revised and updated frequently. The state governments may avail of CRF for this purpose to the ex tent of 10 percent as provided in the existing rules and guidelines for disbursement.

Identification of the Deceased

In the event of mass casualties, states will develop systems for proper identification of the deceased, recording the details of victims, and making the use of DNA fingerprinting.

Mortuary Facilities and Disposal of Dead Bodies

The state will develop contingency plans to have sufficient mortuaries to preserve the dead bodies. After proper identification, dead bodies will be immediately disposed through district authorities, to prevent outbreak of an epidemic and environmental pollution.

Public Health Issues in Aftermath of Floods

Safe and sufficient drinking water will be ensured. Vector control will be done by spraying of shelters with residual insecticides.

Documentation of Medical Response

Documentation of the medical response provided after a flood will be done by a medical administrator.

Implementation of Guidelines Preparation of Flood Management Plans

National Disaster Management Plan

The NEC will prepare the National Disaster Management Plan (DMP) and get it approved by the NDMA. This plan will also include FM aspects.

Flood Management Plans of Central Ministries and Departments Plans

All central ministries/departments will prepare their FMPs which will cover all aspects of the disaster cycle of every disaster, including floods.

Flood Management Plans of State Governments

All state governments/SDMAs will prepare their FMPs in accordance with these guidelines. These FM plans will be widely disseminated among various stakeholders for creating greater public awareness. Alternative arrangements for housing relief camps in flood prone areas will be put in place through various mitigation projects. The FMPs will incorporate all the features of the EOCs including their establishment and operations.

Flood Management Plans of Nodal Agencies

The BIS will ensure finalisaton of all pending revisions within the next two years.As the nodal ministry/agency for FM, the MOWR and CWC, in close collaboration with the MOES, will prepare their FMPs based on the guidelines laid down by the NDMA. The various aspects of the FMPs prepared by the other central ministries/departments and state governments and other stakeholder groups will be included in that plan.

Implementation and Monitoring

The FMPs prepared by the central ministries,departments concerned,state governments, district authorities, rural bodies, urban local bodies and the stakeholders in accordance with these guidelines will be implemented by them as per inbuilt schedules.

Financial Arrangements

The various activities of FMPs will be mainstreamed into the developmental plans of the respective ministries, departments, state governments and they will be responsible for making adequate provisions in their annual plans/budgets. The specific activities can be funded under the centrally sponsored/central sector schemes and the flood mitigation projects as well.