Thursday, June 16, 2011

With monsoon approaching DM plans for disaster management at Khanakul

DM Sripriya Rengarajan, IAS hears from others
No flood at Khanakul, wonders the metro people in monsoon period, if it happens ever. But the chance of negativity is infrequent. In 2009, the whole of Arambagh witnessed a devastating flood in the month of September when a kilometer of embankment of the river Damodar at Pursurah was vanished in no time.
To save the situation the then District Magistrate of North 24 Parganas, Binod Kumar, IAS rushed to Arambagh to extend his expertise to the then DM of Hooghly, Neelam Mina, IAS. Thousands of commoners lost their homes. The state government sent Amarenda nath Singh, IAS, the then Principal Secretary of the Cilvil Defence department to monitor the situation and help the administration as Sri Singh had served the district as DM for almost five years since 1990. With their timely intervention and continuous manning by the then Sub-divisional Magistrate of Arambagh, Jitendra Roy, WBCS (Exe) in person had controlled the situation from being worsen since an overnight water discharge by DVC left virtually no time for anyone to save inhabitants from their destiny.
Sub-divisional Information & Cultural Department silently contributed a lot to overcome the situation. First they informed the Panchayats and local people through SMS that huge water was coming in a condition when the river and cannels were dry. It facilitated people to keep them moving at once from low land. Secondly, the contact numbers were circulated widely in a quick move. The numbers displayed in major television channels and cable TVs where from people got chance to contact with the administration. Finally, the Information office had disseminate information about the exact quantity, place of unloading of relief materials to the reports as well as well known personalities many time in a day over phone and SMS so that misconception and rumor could be washed off. As the information published in different media without disparity, people got their share more easily. When it had been a common picture for them to get involved in clash for obtaining reliefin last couple of years, in 2009 some relief  material became surplus.
This time both the district and the sub-divisional administrations are quite cautious in apprehension of  natural calamities. Hence the Sub Divisional Co-ordination Meeting on Disaster Management was held very recently at Khanakul-II BDO Office where DM Hooghly Sripriya Rengarajan, IAS had presided over. Of late she herself visited this Sub-Division many a time to ensure good governance. No doubt, her attentive and sympathetic attitude to redress a grievance gets back people's confidence towards administration.  Besides her, ADM (Disaster Management), SDM, Savapati, BDO, SDPO, Executive Engineers of  Irrigation & Waterways of Hooghly and Howrah Division, A.E  of PWD Roads Highway Divn , A.E of PWD, ACMOH, SC (F&S), Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Sub Div. Agricultural Officer,  representative of WBSEDCL, PHE, Fire Services, Army signified their  presence.
Detail review was made on preparedness to manage any probable flood situation. A joint inspection team by the BDO and Irrigation will visit the condition of the Embankments within 17th June. Similar visit will be made with PWD roads. Immediate repair works wherever necessary will be taken up. Fund will be provided from MGNREGS wherever necessary. Four Speedboats were already provided by DM. They will be kept at Khanakul-II, 1 each at Khanakul-I and Pursurah Block.
Micro level planning will be finalized within 17th June. All departments will provide the name and contact of proposed Block level Control Room Staff to the BDOs within 17th. The administration is alert and will take all possible steps to meet the unprecedented situation ascertained Arindam Niyogi, Sub-Divisional Magistrate who set an extraordinary standard for impartial ruling during last assembly election at Arambagh.

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