Steps against floods in state

Bhubaneswar: In steps taken to prevent floods in state, 234 breaches have been plugged and 337 points identified as vulnerable, while officials have been asked to stock foodgrains.

"We have been taking all precautionary measures to ensure that floods do not cause much damage in the state," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told a meeting of the state level committee on natural calamities here. Patnaik asked officials to store food materials in flood prone areas and said that 457 mechanised boats have been kept ready.

Stating that government was prepared to meet any eventuality during the monsoon, Revenue and Disaster Management minister S N Patro said, "According to the report recieved from the water resources department, all 234 breaches on river embankments have been plugged."

The government has also identified 337 points as vulnerable to breaches, he said. "Of the 337 vulnerable points, 25 have been identified as critical which require special attention during the floods," the minister said.

Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh belonging to Congress, however, said "Though we have been demanding construction of three barages to check flow of water from Tel river to Mahanadi, the state government is not serious." The allegations were rejected by Patro.