Permanent flood management team favoured

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has called for immediate constitution of a seven-member flood management team on a permanent basis to take up public security measures in flood situations.

The team should have as members senior officials who were trained in the steps that should be taken whenever the State was faced with floods, Mr. Rao told a meeting held to discuss extensive rains on Thursday.

He said the members should have experience about the functioning of irrigation, panchayat raj, municipal, roads and buildings, revenue, health and general administration departments. One of them should be experienced in shifting people from low-lying areas to relief camps. Another could be appointed to alert Army, police, Air Force, National Disaster Response Force and other security agencies.

From among the remaining members, one could work on coordinating with health, panchayat raj and roads and buildings departments and another with revenue, irrigation and general administration departments.

Mr. Rao spoke from the meeting over phone with Ministers and Collectors of Nizamabad and Adilabad districts to pass on certain instructions on dealing with flood. Earlier, the officials explained to him the rainfall recorded in the catchment of Godavari and Krishna rivers. He was also informed of the water levels in Sriramsagar, Kaddam, Ellampally, Swarna and Kaleshwaram projects.

Mr. Rao ordered immediate deployment of army helicopters and senior officials to evacuate people who may be stranded in water-logging at Kothagudem, Eturunagaram and Mangapet. The NDRF teams should be rushed to Armoor, Nirmal and Bhainsa where there was heavy rain and water stagnation.

He warned of flooding in Krishna basin due to heavy rains in western parts of Maharashtra, particularly Mahabaleswar, which recorded 70 cm rainfall. Senior officials should be posted to supervise operations with Nagarjunasagar as base.

The Chief Engineer of irrigation in Nalgonda should be posted to monitor dam protection measures at Nagarjunasagar and the CE of Wanaparthy district posted at Jurala project site. The services of retired officials who were involved in dealing with floods should be used from Friday.

He called for assessment of flood situation on a hourly basis and regulation of water release from all projects.

On the situation in Hyderabad, he asked GHMC and HMDA officials to take stern action against construction of houses in violation of norms in low-lying areas. All the officials and public representatives should be alert till August 10, the date till which time met officials warned of rains. He appealed to people to observe restraint on movement near tanks and streams.


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