Gandhinagar, Friday: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today took stock of the overall rescue and relief operations for damage control on war footing in the aftermath of widespread heavy rains and flood since September 21, 2013 in most parts of the state.
Presiding over a high-level review meeting here, Mr. Modi hailed the disaster management authority for alerting district administration on time to take emergent preemptive steps, immediately after receiving warning about likely heavy rains in different parts of the state.
It was decided at the meeting to send a memorandum to the Union Government for Central assistance for rescue and relief operations.
Gujarat received an average rainfall of 244 mm in seven days, resulting in rise in of water reservoirs from 13 to 23 percent in Kutch, from 23 to 45 percent in Saurashtra, with overflowing in 88 out of 135 dams in the region. The rise in underground water table should mitigate water shortage in this region.
The Chief Minister called for greater involvement and participation of the people, as part of the state’s long-term strategy, for maximizing use of the disaster management machinery to make the disaster management system more effective. The suggested steps include periodic checking of lifeboats, swimmers, fire brigade and other modern equipment.
Mr. Modi asked the authorities concerned to establish more foolproof inbuilt systems to monitor and check inflow and outflow of rainwater at dams and reservoirs. He called for increasing the capacity of reservoirs on Tapi and Vishwamitra rivers for Surat and Vadodara respectively.
He directed the administration to take up preventive steps for hygiene and cleanliness to check outbreak of monsoon-related diseases by urban, rural and local-government organizations, in all seriousness.
Earlier, Revenue Minister Anandiben Patel and Energy Minister Saurabh Patel, besides Chief Secretary Varesh Sinha and senior Secretaries of Departments concerned, briefed the meeting about the directives and revised guidelines issued to respective District Guardian Secretaries and Collectors to send rescue and relief teams to the affected areas in time. The district administrations were in constant touch with their respective Guardian Ministers and Guardian Secretaries. This saved the state from major damage due to the fury of natural calamity.
Relief Commissioner P.K. Parmar said that emergent rescue and relief operations saved loss of life and property to a great extent. As many as 1.10-lakh people had to be evacuated to shifted to safer places. In all, 478 medical teams of the Health Department are working are deployed in affected areas. Traffic has been temporarily restricted or diverted on 106 stretches of roads. Electricity supply has been restored.