New Delhi: Amid debate over the reasons behind the recent flash floods in Uttarakhand, the Centre today set up a committee of experts to find out the possible causes behind the deluge and propose various measures, including early warning system at higher altitudes.
The formation of the committee by Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat comes against the backdrop of Public Accounts Committee slamming his Ministry for failing to formulate an "actionable plan" for flood management as per the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) guidelines.
The committee will be headed by Chairman, Ganga Flood Control Commission, Patna and will comprise representatives from Central Water Commission, India Meteorological Department and Ministry of Water Resources.
"The Ministry of Water Resources has constituted a committee to understand the possible causes of recent flood and landslides in the state of Uttarakhand...
"The committee will study various issues including the river bank erosion, the river draining systems, effect of sedimentation downstream and also the effectiveness of flood warning systems, the monitoring of lakes in the high altitudes including glacier lakes that could be a part of a more effective early warning system for flash floods," a ministry statement said.
The panel has been asked to finalise its recommendations in three weeks after visiting the sites.
"It was felt that there is an immediate need to understand the possible causes thereof and to take measures in the light of lessons learnt," it said.
According to a PAC note, the Water Resources Ministry was responsible for laying down policy guidelines and programmes for the development and regulation of the country`s water resources.
"According to the guidelines for management of floods issued by NDMA in January 2008, the ministry was to prepare a detailed action plan for management of floods. The ministry had not formulated actionable plan for management of floods as per NDMA guidelines," the note said.