VIJAYAWADA: The Risk Management Solutions India (RMSI) Pvt. Ltd., which has studied the vulnerability profile of Vijayawada as part of a project undertaken by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has identified 11 wards in the city as prone to various risks such as landslides and floods.
Speaking at a meeting jointly organised by the State Disaster Management Authority and the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) here Tuesday, RMSI vice-president MVRL Murthy said that RMSI had studied various factors and risks that the city was prone to and that recommendations were made for effective risk management.
“We have identified that 11 wards in the city are vulnerable to different kinds of risks. Alterations to city master plan, political will and public awareness are key factors for the management of natural vulnerabilities and disasters,” he said.
Murthy said that areas like Machavaram, Indrakeeladri Hill, Mogalrajpuram, Gunadala and Gollapalem Gattu were areas prone to landslides. “The city is also vulnerable to floods with many hills and Krishna river in the city. Ward Nos. 1, 10, 41 and 42 are flood-prone,” he added.
State project officer of the UNDP Nagendra said that UNDP had taken the help of RMSI to come up with a plan for managing the vulnerabilities of different cities across the country.
“As Vijayawada is a multi-disaster-prone city, we have included it among one of the cities for vulnerability management,” he pointed out.
The project officer said that functionality of the plan was more important than chalking it out. “It is important for us to keep revising the plan according to the changing trends for effective disaster management,” he said. Nagendra added that the next course of action was to see the practicality of the management plan devised and its effective implementation. City mayor Koneru Sridhar, who also participated in the meeting, said that about 40,000 people were living on the hills and river banks in the city. They were often subjected to landslides and floods.
“Even though we provide rehabilitation during emergencies, they go back to the same places as soon as the emergency is over,” he said and pointed out that thousands of households were living on the banks of river Krishna.
Vijayawada municipal commissioner C Harikiran said specific plans would be devised for all the 11 disaster-prone wards. “Disaster management and risk reduction are more discussed than implemented. Penalties would be imposed on the encroachers on the river bed and hills as part of risk management,” he added.
Officials from various departments such as VMC, irrigation, police and transport were also present during the meeting.