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As monsoon approaches, state authorities review preparedness for waterlogging, floods; Maharashtra, Odisha lead charge

As India gears up for the monsoon season, state authorities have sprung into action to ensure any possible disaster or inconvenience during it is averted through timely preparedness.

On Tuesday, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis held a meeting with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officers and heads of other civic authorities to take stock of the monsoon preparedness in the flood-prone state.

Referring to a large number of waterlogging incidents that were reported in Mumbai last year, the chief minister said, “All these sensitive sites should be focussed and infrastructure should be in place.” According to a report in The Indian Express, there is an anticipation of increased trouble this year due to the ongoing metro work and hence Fadnavis alerted all authorities to be better equipped to deal with the situation. “There should be perfect coordination between MMRDA, BMC, railways, state government departments and all related institutions,” he said.

The BMC on its part said that 225 places, where waterlogging is expected, have been identified, of which, corrective measures have been undertaken at 120 places.

Meanwhile, across the city and suburbs, 298 placed have been equipped with water-pumping to drain the monsoon water and almost 1,200 manholes have been provided with an extra net to avert accidents, the Express report said.

 As monsoon approaches, state authorities review preparedness for waterlogging, floods; Maharashtra, Odisha lead charge

File image of a flooded street in Mumbai. Reuters

BMC has also issued notices to 688 dilapidated buildings to vacate them. And to tackle emergency situations, 1,300 beds in hospitals are being kept reserved. Additional security personals are also being deployed along seashores and beaches at Girgaun, Dadar and Aksa and Gorai.

While the Central Railway too has come forward to work closely with the India Meteorological Department (IMD), for setting up equipment along the railway tracks. “All our officers from the headquarters to the station level, will be on the IMD’s notification list so that everyone is abreast real time of the weather predictions,” said Central Railway general manager, DK Sharma. For all agencies, ensuring tracks do not flood in heavy rains — as is usually the case in the city — remains a priority, he said.

According to a Hindu report, Sharma also said that said two rounds of cleaning of drains and culverts have been completed and the third round would be done by the first week of June. He said 259 Maharashtra Security Force and 220 Railway Protection Force staff were part of the quick response teams, and the CR had identified 13 critical foot over bridges at key stations such as Dadar, Parel, Currey Road, Chinchpokli, Ghatkopar and Kurla.

As per a Times of India report, Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta told Fadnavis in the meeting that besides cleaning major nullahs, this year, the BMC is also focusing on micro-mitigation measures. “We have marked the spots that had flooded on 29 August 2017 and fixed the problems that caused flooding".

Whereas in Telangana, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation authorities has assured citizens that work is being done to make the city prepared heavy rains. "Identification and rectification of waterlogging points is underway. Nala widening work is also being taken up. Other wings of GHMC too are working on preparing for the monsoon," a Times of India report quoted Bharati Hollikeri, zonal commissioner (Khairatabad- GHMC) as saying.

On the other hand, the Odisha government has asked all the 30 district officials to be prepared for possible flood and stock adequate food grains in remote areas which are more prone to it. As per a report in India Today, the instructions were given by Special Relief Commissioner & Commissioner-cum-Secretary (Disaster Management) BP Sethi in a review meeting on the preparedness for the possible floods during monsoons on Wednesday.

The state already has 301 power boats with the State Port Engineering Organisation under the SRC which are currently being run through a test in different districts. As many as 108 vulnerable points have been identified in different rivers and saline embankments out of which three have been identified as critical vulnerable points, Sethi said. Also, executive engineers have been instructed to verify the status of sluices and make those operational by 1 June, the report said.

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Updated Date: May 30, 2018 17:43:49 IST