The floods in Punjab and Haryana are probably the worst since 1988. That does not, however, mean that there have been no floods since 1988. Every year, the Ghaggar river swells up and the waters breach its banks, submerging homes, affecting livelihoods, and, in some cases, causing deaths. This year, the death toll is close to 36. So far.
The floods haven’t caught the states unawares. It is just that their governments have chosen to do nothing about it. The Ghaggar, interestingly, is a river that dries up when it is not raining. Repairing the banks is easy at such times.
Bibek Debroy has completed a ten-volume translation of the Mahabharata in English. Inside the mind of an economist with a difference whose daytime job nowadays is the restructuring of Indian Railways and duties as a permanent member of the recently formed NITI Aayog