KOLLAM: EVEN as the Southwest monsoon is yet to pick up momentum in the state, some coastal areas in Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram are bearing the brunt of sea fury triggered by the vigorous pre-season showers.With the formal announcement of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) that the Southwest monsoon has arrived in Andaman and Nicobar Islands combined with its prediction that the monsoon will be above normal, the State Relief Commissioner had already given a directive to all district collectors to implement steps so as to ensure rainwater harvesting. The directive is said to be in the wake of the severe drought-like situation experienced by the state for the past two-and-a-half -months.
In its review meeting, (on the first week of May) which looked into the monsoon preparedness, the State Relief Commissioner had instructed “to take all steps to conserve as much water as possible through creating new farm ponds, cleaning and repairing existing ponds, creating minor check dams etc.” It also directed that MGNREGA workers be roped in so as to carry out the conservation activities at the grassroots-level itself.
The 36-point directive also include instructions to be followed by the Coastal Police, Fisheries Department, Health Department, Civil Supplies Department and other line departments and agencies.
While directing the Irrigation Department to ensure minimal coastal erosion during the monsoon it also reminds the department to ensure sufficient funds for the maintenance of seawalls.
Identifying prone areas
As per the plan, the Coastal Police will conduct a preliminary survey so as to identify the most important areas which are prone to coastal erosion.
The Fisheries and Ports Department has been asked to make available high speed boats in all harbors so as to carry out rescue activities in a timely manner.
Checking health hazards
Health Department told to convene a meeting of ASHA workers as well as of the health workers working at PHC-level
The Civil Supplies Department, Supplyco and Consumerfed have been asked to keep a buffer stock of rice, cereals, cooking oil and kerosene.
In a bid to avoid tanker lorry accidents during this period, the Road Safety Authority has been directed to provide stimulants like tea or coffee for the lorry drivers during night time.
The service of National Disaster Response Force has also been ensured as it will be temporarily stationed at Thrissur Civil Defense Institute.
To meet the flood-related issues, the collectors have been provided with `50 lakh each from the State Disaster Response Fund