Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 29:
With the threat of flood looming large post the Indian Meteorological Department’s prediction of surplus rainfall this year, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today asked the administration to be fully prepared to encounter flood situations.
“The IMD has predicted surplus rainfall. Therefore, probability of flood this year appears to be very high. Keeping this in view, we have to remain in full preparedness to encounter flood situation,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said during the state-level natural calamity meeting.
“It is the government’s responsibility to reach out to the affected people and provide due assistance at the earliest possible time in the event of flood”, the Chief Minister said.
Stating that the past breaches in embankments have been plugged, he said Water Resources department would ensure that adequate flood fighting materials are stored near weak and vulnerable points on river embankments and watch and ward arrangements made during flood. We should have certificates from concerned engineers regarding this, he said.
There are ten functional Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) units and the government has created ten more units which would be in place very soon. Similarly, there are 293 fire stations at present and 42 more would be set up very soon. These units must be in readiness for deployment to undertake rescue and relief operation as first responder in the event of flood, Patnaik said.
Besides, the boats available with the State Port Engineering Organisation under the Special Relief Commissioner must also be ready with crew to undertake relief operation, he added.
In addition to this, he directed the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department, Rural Development Department, Housing and Urban Development Department, Health and Family Welfare Department, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department, Engineering Departments to ensure their respective duties during exigency.
“Every department should have their standard operating procedure (SOP) and carry out mock drills to fine tune preparedness. The Chief Secretary has been asked to review this and brief me on a weekly basis,” he concluded.