The Odisha government has developed a Real Time Flood Forecasting Model for the entire Mahanadi river basin and set up a State Drought Monitoring Centre (SDMC). “This flood forecasting model will help us in accomplising better flood control and its management through early warning systems in the Mahanadi basin which has special relevance and greater significance in the context of climate change,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said at a function today. The model is supported by the State Climate Change Innovation programme, Patnaik said adding that Odisha is vulnerable to multiple types of disasters due to its topography, river networks, sub-tropical littoral location. The state has 11 river basins and Mahanadi basin is the largest inter-state river basin.
Stating that Odisha was the first state in the country to implement Climate Change Action plan, Patnaik said the water resources department should continue to work on improving the efficiency of the model and train its staff in a better way so that its outcome can be utlised in planning and support system. Patnaik also thanked the DFID for providing full support to the state for developing this Real Time Flood Forecasting Model.
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Chief Secretary A P Padhi last night announced the setting up of the State Drought Monitoring Centre. The SDMC will operate at Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) office here with the aim of accomplishing flawless assessment and management of drought situation in the State. An expert committee, under the chairmanship of OSDMA Managing Director P K Mohapatra, has been formed for the purpose. Weather experts, hydrologists, agriculture scientists, soil experts are members of this committee.
On the functioning of the State Drought Monitoring Centre, the OSDMA MD Mohapatra said that the state government has signed an agreement with Karnataka State Disaster Management Centre for technical support on monitoring drought in Odisha. As per the plan, data on weather condition, rainfall and humidity of soil at field level would be recorded every week of the year. Weekly report on the condition of paddy fields would also be collected, Mohapatra said.
This apart, damage caused due to drought would be assessed after analysing these reports, Mohapatra said adding that telemetric automated odometers will be installed at several locations across the state. Once this system is implemented, there would be qualitative improvement in drought assessment, assistance to farmers, crop insurance and drought management, Mohapatra said.