Odisha CM unveils Rs 200 crore plan to combat urban floods with IIT Delhi's expertise

Presiding over the meeting, Majhi asked the officials to ensure cleaning of drains and release of water during the rainy season to avoid waterlogging and flooding.
CM Mohan Majhi presiding over the natural disaster committee meeting
CM Mohan Majhi presiding over the natural disaster committee meetingPhoto | Express

BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi on Thursday announced that a long-term project will be prepared with technical assistance from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi, for management of urban flooding in the state capital Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and other cities.

Announcing this after the state-level natural disaster committee meeting at the Lok Seva Bhawan here, the chief minister also asked officials of the Urban Development department to submit a Rs 200 crore proposal to deal with problems of waterlogging and urban flooding in areas under Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Presiding over the meeting, Majhi asked the officials to ensure cleaning of drains and release of water during the rainy season to avoid waterlogging and flooding. Announcing the state government’s commitment to ensure zero casualty during natural disasters, he asked officials to take steps to strengthen weak embankments and repair vulnerable spots on embankments where breaches took place during previous floods.

Sources said the chief minister asked Health department officials to keep adequate stock of snake anti-venom in health centres in view of the chances of an uptick in snakebite cases during rainy season. Besides, the 24×7 control rooms set up in the state, district and sub-division levels to inform people regarding flood-related news will be upgraded into smart control rooms.

The chief minister said the state government has decided to increase the number of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) units from 20 to 30. The Home department has been asked to ensure that ODRAF works as a dedicated force. Plans are also afoot to set up five regional fire services hubs to manage sudden accidents like the Bahanaga train tragedy.

Stating that fire services officials are the first to reach any place of natural disaster, Majhi said the department is being strengthened by utilisation of Rs 394 crore from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). He announced that Rs 200 crore will be provided by the state government to further increase the efficiency level of the Fire Services department.

Elaborate discussion was held with special relief commissioner (SRC) Satyabrata Sahu regarding the preparedness to deal with possible flood situations during the ongoing rainy season.

Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Suresh Pujari said the government has prepared plans to deal with any kind of natural disaster in the state with active cooperation of the people.

Among others, deputy chief ministers KV Singh Deo and Pravati Parida attended the meeting.

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