SRC reviews arrangements to tackle possible flood during monsoon

Bhubaneswar: Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) and Commissioner-cum-Secretary (Disaster Management) Bishnupada Sethi Tuesday reviewed the status of pre-flood arrangements in the all districts to tackle the possible flood situation during South-West Monsoon-2018.

A meeting of Additional District Magistrates (ADMs) and District Emergency Officers (DEOs) of all 30 districts was called to review of the arrangements. While District Level Natural Calamity Committee (DLNCC) meetings have already been held in 26 districts, meetings in remaining four districts will be held shortly, sources said.

The District Level Natural Calamity Committee, comprising Collector as chairman and all MPs and MLAs of the districts and various district level officers as members, meets in May every year to review the status of preparedness at various levels in the districts to face the possible disasters, especially flood and cyclone, during the year.

During the meeting, the district authorities were instructed to furnish their updated District Disaster Management Plan (DDMP) by June 10 for approval by the State Disaster Management Authority. After approval, the updated plans shall be uploaded in the website of respective districts, added sources.

The ADMs and DEOs intimated that the flood-prone inaccessible areas, which are likely to be cut off during floods, have been identified for stocking of Public Distribution System (PDS) commodities for the next 2-3 months in advance, so that these are available in these villages during the entire rainy season.

It was instructed that the Collectors would ensure this before the onset of Monsoon and furnish information regarding the quantity of food grains stored at different points.

The districts will also take steps to make pre-contract with the traders following due procedure for supply of dry foods like chuda, gur and other essential commodities, if required, in the event of any calamity.

Official sources informed that there are 301 power boats of the State Port Engineering Organisation under the SRC, available in the districts in charge of Tehsildars, BDOs and other officers under the control of the respective Collectors.

Though test-run of these boats is going on in different districts, the State Port Engineer was directed to complete the test-run of the boats by second week of June.

The ADMs/ DEOs were directed to complete the process of engagement of temporary crew staff as per sanction communicated to them by May 31.

All the districts will furnish information on availability of private boats in the districts, along with contact numbers of boat owners to the office of SRC by June 10, Sethi informed.

Besides, the information shall be uploaded in the official website of the concerned districts, he added.

On the other hand, the representative of Chief Engineer & Basin Manager, Lower Mahanadi Basin indicated that one breach had occurred during 2017 which have already been closed.

As many as 108 vulnerable points have been identified at different river and saline embankments out of which 3 have been identified as critical vulnerable points.

The meeting further discussed and decided to store required flood-fighting materials at these critical vulnerable points and arrange patrolling during flood.

It has been assessed that 33.35 lakkh gunny bags, 67627 cum of sand, 19430 bullahs, 15125 sqm bamboo mat and 10320 bamboos would be required to be stored by June 1 at strategic locations.

This apart, the Executive Engineers have been instructed to verify the status of sluices and make those operational by June 1. Mock drill will be conducted before onset of monsoon.

The meeting stressed on proper coordination in the matter of deployment of Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Fire Services.

For any local search and rescue requirement, the Fire Services should be first contacted and depending on size/ intensity of disaster, if there is further requirement, ODRAF and NDRF can be requisitioned, informed Sethi.

Rainfall in all rain gauge stations must be measured in time (at 8:30 AM) and posted in the rainfall monitoring portal latest by 10 AM.

In case there is some problem in updating the portal at the block level, the same may be done at the district level. If for any justified reason, updating of the portal is also not possible by the district office, then the information must be immediately furnished to the State Emergency Operation Centre by fax/ phone/ e-mail/Whatsapp.

All districts will ensure functioning of their District Emergency Operations Centre (DEOC) round the clock. Also, additional manpower shall be deployed for the purpose and basic training in control room management and operation of communication equipment shall be provided to the personnel, officials informed.

The ADMs / DEOs were asked to see whether all equipment in the District Emergency Operation Centre are in proper working order. In case any equipment is out of order, steps be taken for repair or replacement.

All the districts shall ensure that Toll Free No.1077 is working and a separate telephone has been provided for the said number, added Sethi.

All the districts shall make necessary arrangement to disseminate the weather warnings or flood bulletins to concerned district level offices and subordinate offices promptly from the District Emergency Operations Centre (DEOC).

A check list should be there and the information may be transmitted preferably through e-mail. Arrangements must also be there to disseminate such information among people by subordinate offices if the people need to be alerted.

All the districts shall send daily situation report on rainfall and flood situation to the State Emergency Operation Centre during the entire period of Monsoon i.e. from June 1 to October 15 by 2PM regularly.

The districts were advised to make prior arrangement for supply of safe drinking water during and in the immediate aftermath of flood, in coordination with RWSS & PH (Urban) Organisation.

The districts must also have their contingency plan for health, sanitation, veterinary and agricultural measures prepared by the concerned departments at the district level.

The districts were advised to identify required number of flood shelters in the vulnerable areas for accommodation of people in case of flood.

Arrangements of water, food and lighting must be made for the people taking shelter. Additional sanitation arrangement may also be required to be made, where necessary. A compliance report on this along with number of shelters identified may be sent by each district by June 10, officials said.

The districts were advised to hold coordination meetings with the stakeholders, including the line department officials, to ensure due preparedness to encounter possible flood situation in the district.

The districts were also advised to hold meeting of the District Level NGO Coordination Committee to plan out participation of civil society organisations in rescue, relief and awareness activities.

It was emphasised that the submerged bridges or roads must be closed to traffic to prevent any casualty. This has to be done by the officials of the department in charge of the concerned road/ bridge, such as Public Works Department (PWD), Rural Development (RD), and Panchyati Raj, officials added. In case an incident occurs, the officials in-charge will be held responsible.

The revised norms of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)/ NDRF have already been circulated among the districts while the district authorities have been asked to circulate the same among the subordinate offices, including that of other departments.

The Tehsildars should further circulate it among the field-level officers like Revenue Inspectors and Supervisors, added Sethi.

A mock drill on cyclone and flood management will be held on June 19 in all the districts, Sethi stated, further directing the ADMs/ DEOs to hold a preparatory meeting at the district level for the purpose and ensure successful conduct of mock drill in their respective districts involving all stakeholders. Such drill shall also be held in all Multi-Purpose Cyclone or Flood shelters.

Among others, Additional Commissioner Relief, Joint Commissioner Relief, Joint Secretary (Disaster Management), Chief General Managers, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), State Port Engineer, Officers on Special Duty of SRC, Superintending Engineer, Central Irrigation Circle, Assistant to Chief Engineer & Basin Manager, Lower Mahanadi Basin were present at the meeting.