Hyderabad: With torrential rains continuing to lash Telangana State for the third consecutive day on Thursday and flood levels rising in both Godavari and Krishna Rivers, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao placed all the district administrations on high alert, particularly since the heavy rains are expected to continue for at least two more days.
The Chief Minister directed elected representatives and the officials concerned to take all precautionary measures on a war-footing and ensure that people residing in low-lying areas do not suffer. He instructed them to focus on areas that were vulnerable to floods and carry out rescue and rehabilitation operations wherever required.
Chandrashekhar Rao, who discussed the situation in the State arising out of heavy rains and the flood control measures to be taken at a high level meeting at Pragathi Bhavan, said: “Considering the very heavy rains in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra, and Mahabaleshwar recording the highest rainfall of 70 cm, there will be an increase in flood levels of Krishna River catchment areas, requiring immediate measures to be taken up. Senior officials should be deputed to Nagarjuna Sagar and Jurala projects to monitor the dam safety and take necessary measures,” he said.
“With the construction of irrigation projects, all the water bodies including reservoirs, canals and streams in the State are filled to the brim throughout the year,” he said, adding that since the rains were likely to increase the risk of further flooding, he wanted the officials improve their awareness on flood mitigation measures as well as establish permanent systems for effective flood management.
Chandrashekhar Rao, stating that Telangana no longer required drought relief measures since water was now available abundantly, instructed officials to instead set up a ‘Flood Management Team’ on a permanent basis to deal with flood conditions. “We need to immediately set up an effective flood management team of seven officers who should have sound knowledge of safety measures to be taken during floods. They must maintain records of floods every year and take preventive measures during floods based on the past records,” he said.
He elaborated the qualities these officers should possess that would facilitate swift response during floods. He wanted each official in the team to take up different responsibilities – managing rehabilitation camps, alerting Army, Air Force, NDRF and other rescue teams, coordinating with Medical and Health, Roads and Buildings, Panchayat Raj and other departments; and also coordinating with the GAD, Revenue, Irrigation, and other such departments which are involved in flood and related works.
The Chief Minister instructed Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to immediately constitute the team on a permanent basis.
Heavy rains, flood situation
The officials appraised the Chief Minister about the flood situation, rainfall recorded in Godavari catchment areas, the flood situation in upstream areas of SRSP upto Kadem, Yellampally, Swarna, and Kaleswaram project catchment areas as well as the situation in Krishna River catchment areas. In the wake of rising flood levels in Godavari River, the Chief Minister issued necessary instructions to Ministers, the Chief Secretary and the district collectors of erstwhile Nizamabad and Adilabad districts on safety measures. He asked them not to worry as the State government has initiated all the measures to prevent any untoward situation.
He wanted senior officials to be flown down by an Army helicopter to supervise operations in places like Kothagudem, Eturunagaram and Mangampet. The NDRF teams were asked to rush to Armoor, Nirmal and Bhainsa areas immediately to take up evacuation of people in low-lying areas. Officials were directed to make arrangements to provide shelter, clothes and food to people rescued from floods. They were asked to take all measures to rescue people struck in the floods in Adilabad, Mancherial, and Komuram Bheem Asifabad districts.
Preventive and rescue measures
As part of preventive measures to protect people from the floods, Chandrashekhar Rao wanted deployment of more NDRF teams and helicopters. He wanted utilisation of the services of senior officers, both in service and retired, who worked during the floods earlier. As flood situation was likely to worsen in the next two days, he asked the electricity, irrigation, revenue, panchayat raj and police departments to be fully prepared to attend to any emergency situation. “Police and Irrigation officials should be on high alert to face the flood situation. Evacuation of people from low-lying areas to safer areas should be taken up wherever required. The Irrigation officials should release water from reservoirs downstream in a controlled manner after considering the flood situation at regular intervals,” he said.
Situation in Hyderabad
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister inquired about inflows into the Musi River and preventive measures being taken for safety of people living in low-lying areas in Hyderabad. He issued necessary instructions to the officials concerned in this regard. The HMDA and GHMC officials were directed to be strict against illegal constructions of houses in low-lying areas in Hyderabad. He also inquired about the water flow in drainages and instructed the officials to be on the alert to prevent flooding of roads as well as residential areas.
High alert till Aug 10
With the weather forecast stating that the rains will continue till August 10, Chandrashekhar Rao instructed all the departments to be on high alert for the safety of people. He wanted the Roads and Buildings department to coordinate with the departments concerned to assess the flood situation before hand as well as examine the condition of roads and bridges in order to allow the public transport system in a controlled manner.
He wanted people in the State to exercise restraint and be alert of the flood situation. People were advised not venture into streams, rivulets, and other water bodies and instead, take measures to avoid getting caught in the floods. He urged the denizens especially children against indulging in misadventures like trying to cross the streams or visiting the overflowing water bodies.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.