IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


11th July, 2023 International Relations

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.


Recurring extreme rainfall events in India and the lack of lessons learned from them.


  • Since the Uttarakhand disaster in 2013, India has experienced major extreme rainfall events every year.
  • Scientists have been warning about the increase in intensity and frequency of heavy rainfall events.
  • These events have resulted in large-scale flooding, destruction, and loss of lives in various parts of the country.

Recurring Extreme Rainfall Events

  • Major extreme rainfall events have occurred in multiple cities and regions, including Kashmir, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, Gurgaon, Kerala, Assam, and Bihar.
  • The trend aligns with scientific predictions of more intense and concentrated rainfall within shorter periods of time.

Causes of Disasters

  • Extreme weather events have become inevitable, but the resulting disasters are not solely due to natural causes.
  • Official incompetence, neglect, callousness, and greed aggravate the impact of these events.
  • Improper construction, blocked water channels, population growth in vulnerable areas, and encroachment on floodplains contribute to the severity of the disasters.

Specific Examples

  • Bengaluru experiences annual flooding not due to unusual rainfall, but primarily because natural water channels have been blocked by irregular construction.
  • Srinagar faced unprecedented flooding in 2014 due to heavy rainfall and population settlements in low-lying areas along the Jhelum river.
  • Kerala's destruction in 2018 resulted from settlements and tourist infrastructure on floodplains.
  • Mumbai's recurring floods are attributed to broken or clogged drainage systems.
  • The Uttarakhand disaster was worsened by unregulated construction and poorly planned infrastructure.

Lack of Learning and Opportunities

  • Each extreme rainfall event in the past decade has served as a warning and offered opportunities for learning.
  • However, very few lessons have been learned, and there is still a lack of action and preparedness.
  • India is currently in the process of building infrastructure, presenting an opportunity to design resilient systems that can withstand the expected impacts of climate change.


Q) Discuss the challenges and implications of recurring extreme rainfall events in India, highlighting the role of human factors in aggravating the resulting disasters. (150 words)