India

Boats on standby as city prepares to fight floods

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Abdul Gani, TNN | Apr 17, 2015, 05.00 AM IST

GUWAHATI: The Kamrup (Metro) district administration seems to have learnt its lesson after the city witnessed at least nine deaths during last year's artificial floods and landslides. District officials are taking precautionary measures to avoid a rerun of such disasters.

The district administration has asked circle officers to keep at least 250 boats, besides 10 rubber boats, ready for the State Disaster Respond Force (SDRF) to counter floods.

"I have asked all the circle officers and police to prepare a detailed plan for rescue and relief operation (if needed) in the monsoon and submit it within a week. We are leaving no stone unturned this time," said DC M Angamuthu.

The district disaster management authorities are planning to provide training to 100 home guards, 100 volunteers of civil defence and 150 members of the Nagarik Samity to help in rescue operations.

"I have asked the circle officers to begin marking spots to set up relief camps so that we do not face problems at the last moment,"Angamuthu said.

Landslides are one of the major reasons of worry for residents during the monsoon and the administration has already begun work to minimize casualty.

As many as 366 spots in the city and its nearby hills have been identified as being vulnerable.

The 'Integrated Land Use Planning and Water Resource Management' (ILPWRM) project of the Union ministry of urban development is also under way. The project is being implemented by the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), with the assistance IIT-Guwahati and an engineering firm, as a pilot project in the Baikunthapur area that covers 18 hectares in the hills.

Locals are, however, not satisfied with the progress of the work. Additional chief secretary to the chief minister, MGVK Bhanu, promised that the cleaning of drains would be completed by March 15.