Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 12:
Taking note of the massive floods in Odisha last year following breaches in several embankments, the Water Resources department has stepped up measures for early repair and renovation of weak embankments before the onset of monsoon this year.
In a letter to all executive engineers, secretary, Water Resources, Pradip Kumar Jena has asked them to make an on-the-spot visit to all major river embankments and study which portion of the embankment is weak and at which place there is a possibility of breach.
Jena has also told them to study the place where the floodwaters cross the embankments frequently and examine the repaired area of the embankments where breaches were caused last year.
He has also asked them to examine the functioning of the sluice gates in all dams and barrages and the gauge stations in all major rivers.
The Water Resources secretary has also categorically told the executive engineers to personally conduct field study instead of relying on the reports of the junior engineers and assistant engineers.
Stating that the Chief Minister will have a review meeting on the flood control measures next month, Jena asked the executive engineers to complete the field survey within a fortnight from April 15 to April 30, submit a report by the first week of May and complete the permanent and temporary repair of all weak embankments by June 15.
“The concerned executive engineer would be held responsible for any breach in the embankment, which comes under his jurisdiction,” he warned.
He also reminded them that work on strengthening of embankments before and after the flood cannot be made under F2 basis (land type classification based on normal monsoon season flood depths).
It may be mentioned that about 33,400 sq kms of area in Odisha are flood-prone. As the state receives around 80 percent rainfall between June and October, there is flood havoc in major rivers like Mahandi, Brahmani, Baitarani, Bansadhara, Rushikulya and Budhabalanga.