File photo of an electric pole that collapsed following heavy rain damaging vehicles in Hyderabad.
With the forecast of a normal monsoon by the weatherman, the State government is gearing up to minimise the loss of lives and damage to properties and infrastructure in the event of monsoon turning vigorous.
The Revenue (Disaster Management) Department has drawn up elaborate action plans to ensure effective coordination between different departments like Irrigation, Agriculture and Revenue as well as the Municipal Administration to ensure that damages are kept to the minimum. In addition, the Department has roped in teams from Army and Air Force to cooperate with the government in assisting/evacuating people from vulnerable areas.
The State registered 11 deaths — eight in Medak and three in Warangal — due to flooding on a single day on September 27, 2016 and seven deaths due to two incidents of wall collapses in the twin cities the same month. The number of casualties, according to official records, had come down to just three last year, but the government is not willing to take any chances as encroachments on water bodies and improper desilting could pose a major challenge due to heavy rains.
Revenue (Disaster Management) Principal Secretary R.V. Chandravadan said the department has completed mapping of vulnerable areas along the Godavari and Krishna basins as well as the low lying areas in the municipal areas, the GHMC in particular.
Army has been fully sensitised and five teams of the armed forces have already conducted recce in vulnerable areas to carry out rescue and relief operations in case of any emergencies that could arise in the event of heavy rains.
“Civic authorities have been asked to position pumps in the areas prone to water logging on regular basis to ensure that water is pumped out as and when needed,” he told The Hindu. Going by the experiences of urban flooding reported last year, the department has deployed a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in the city to meet any eventuality.
Efforts had been made to identify the old multi-storeyed structures vulnerable to heavy rains in the city and its surroundings while the department laid emphasis on strengthening the bunds of the tanks and canals across the State in collaboration with the Irrigation department to prevent any breaches so that flooding could be averted in the nearby habitations.
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