Mahanadi floods: Next 48 hours crucial; Odisha CM asks officials to ensure ‘zero casualty’

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today asked top officials of the State government to ensure ‘zero casualty’ in flood, during a review meeting held here on the prevalent situation.

Patnaik ordered the Collectors of 10 flood-affected districts (including Sambalpur, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Cuttack and Kendrapara) to ensure road connectivity, evacuate people from the ‘at risk’ areas and stay prepared for relief and rescue operations.

The Chief Minister also directed Chief Secretary and Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) to constantly keep reviewing the flood situation, an official source said.

“All lives are important to us and State government has always adopted the policy of ‘zero casualty’ during disasters in the past days,” the CM Patnaik insisted.

Due to low pressure-induced incessant rains at upper catchment region of Mahanadi River that battered the State for last few days, flood-like situation has occurred in at least 10 districts.

Bureaucrats concerned are to be on toes for effective flood management in Odisha. Basic facilities along with relief materials should be provided to affected people on priority basis. Accordingly, government departments are to coordinate with district Collectors, the CM emphasised.

NDRF, ODRAF and fire services personnel are to stay alert and be pressed into service at different flood-prone areas where evacuation is essential. The government agencies providing emergency services like healthcare, drinking water and electricity were asked to provide uninterrupted service.

Special arrangement of drinking water and healthcare must be made in the rural areas of these districts. Adequate steps also be taken for safety of fish and cattle resources, Patnaik advised.

Chief Minister’s 5T Secretary VK Pandian, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra and several other senior bureaucrats took part in the review meeting, which was conducted in virtual mode.

Notably, the SRC PK Jena stated in the review meeting that as many as 26 sluice gates of Hirakud Dam reservoir are open now, thereby releasing excess rainwater. Around 11.80 lakh Cusecs of the rainwater is flowing near Mundali and it could reach 12 lakh Cusecs by today evening.

Nine ODRAF teams have been put on alert in seven districts and nine NDRF teams in six districts along with 44 teams of fire services personnel to face any eventuality in the days ahead.

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