October 22, 2020

Govt gears up to fight floods

Patna: With monsoon likely to set in soon, the state government has gone into a flood-protection mode.

On Saturday, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams were shifted to flood-prone districts of Bihar so that they can quickly respond to flood situations and undertake rescue work. This comes close on heels of the state government’s agreement with Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd to keep five Bailey bridges in its stock for use in Bihar in case floods erode roads.

A total of eight teams of the National Disaster Response Force’s (NDRF) 9th Battalion have been deployed in many flood-prone districts of Bihar with specialised flood rescue equipments. Five NDRF teams have been sent off for Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj, Samastipur and Bettiah (West Champaran), whereas one team is stationed at Supaul and two teams at Didarganj, Patna have been deployed and earmarked for flood rescue operations.

The Bihar State Disaster Management Department, Patna, has selected and finalised the location of pre-positioning of these eight NDRF teams on the basis of flood vulnerability profile of the districts.

Vijay Sinha, commandant of the NDRF’s 9th Battalion, said all eight teams are equipped with inflatable rubberised motorboats, deep diving sets, skilled deep divers, skilled rescuers, life jackets, lifebuoy, inflatable lighting towers, advanced communication equipment, including satellite phones, quick deployment antenna and various other specialised equipment for relief and rescue operations.

Rescuers of the team can tackle all kinds of flood disaster. NDRF teams will also conduct community awareness programmes based on flood disaster management, school safety programmes and mock exercises in their respective districts. He further said that these awareness programmes will educate the civil population and students on floods, which includes preparation before floods, dos and don’ts during floods, preparation of improvised rafts using local resources, snake-bite management, pre-hospital treatment and safety measures to be taken during earthquakes.

On June 13, chief minister Nitish Kumar held a review meeting on pre-flood preparations in wake of the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) prediction that Bihar could witness around 93 per cent of the estimated average rainfall of 1027.6mm this year, and directed the officials to complete all preparations by June 30. He directed the finance department to transfer money to district magistrates’ disaster relief funds.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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