Eknath Shinde reviews Maharashtra’s rain preparedness, emphasises importance of disaster response forces | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Eknath Shinde reviews Maharashtra’s rain preparedness, emphasises importance of disaster response forces

May 29, 2024 08:54 AM IST

The meeting was held at the state guest house Sahyadri, and senior officers of the army, navy, Indian Air Force and Coast Guard were present along with National Disaster Response Force officers

MUMBAI/NAVI MUMBAI: Chief Minister Eknath Shinde took a pre-monsoon review of the state’s rain preparedness on Tuesday, and instructed all major civic bodies to keep a disaster response force ready like the Thane Municipal Corporation’s Thane Disaster Response Force (TDRF). The meeting was held at the state guest house Sahyadri, and senior officers of the army, navy, Indian Air Force and Coast Guard were present along with National Disaster Response Force officers.

Mumbai, India – May 28, 2024: Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde and BMC Commissioner Bhushan Gagrani visited at Coastal Road Tunnel after the water leakage was reported inside the newly constructed tunnel of the Mumbai Coastal Road, in Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)
Mumbai, India – May 28, 2024: Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde and BMC Commissioner Bhushan Gagrani visited at Coastal Road Tunnel after the water leakage was reported inside the newly constructed tunnel of the Mumbai Coastal Road, in Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)

Shinde said that the eight State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams must be increased, and each revenue division must have its own SDRF. He added that it had been observed that local youth were the first responders when disasters struck, and they should be trained.

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The CM said that the meteorological department had predicted very good rains and it could rain up to 106% this year. The rains are expected to start by June 10 or 11 in Mumbai and will spread over Maharashtra by June 15.

Among the pre-monsoon measures asked for, the CM said that the British-era piers of the Badlapur barrage on the Ulhas river must be removed. State electricity officials have been asked to ensure that there is power supply even in torrential rains and have been told to do a structural audit of bridges on rivers.

The state has identified 486 landslide prone spots in the state, and told district collectors to take the necessary steps for citizens’ safety. Irrigation department officers have been told that they must coordinate with the Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana governments on discharge of excess water from dams from their states into Maharashtra.

The state is playing it safe after the Ghatkopar hoarding tragedy, and the CM has asked that all illegal hoardings in the state be removed and FIRs registered. He has also asked for a structural audit of all hoardings. The railways and MMRDA have been told that they must take permission from the BMC for all hoardings and follow BMC norms.

Meanwhile, pre-monsoon work in Navi Mumbai is in its final stages, with 80% of the work complete. Seventy-seven of the satellite city’s 96 nullahs have been cleaned while the remaining are slated to be completed in a week.

A day after holding a review meeting, municipal commissioner Kailas Shinde undertook an inspection of the cleaning work of the natural nullahs on Tuesday. Shinde accompanied by city engineer Sanjay Desai and other civic officials started his visit from Digha and gave instructions on speeding up the work efficiently for timely completion before the monsoon sets in.

“As part of the pre-monsoon work, all 77 large storm-water drains have been cleaned,” said Shinde. “There are 19 nullahs still remaining, of which around 30% cleaning work remains, which will be completed by the end of this week. There will be no waterlogging in the city this year. Every possible measure has been taken to ensure this.”

Starting his review at the low-lying area of Digha, Shinde said, “The dam water from Ilthanpada flows towards the western area into the creek. There are slums in the path, and some nullahs passing through the MIDC area are narrow. I have directed that desilting be undertaken to ensure that there are no impediments blocking the flow of water.”

Shinde instructed the contractors to ensure that workers deployed for the cleaning work were equipped with gumboots, hand gloves and other security equipment. He also directed that sludge be removed from the nullahs and taken away from the site. “I have asked for proper maintenance of roads,” he added. “Footpaths must be clear for people to walk on, and manhole lids that are damaged should be replaced with new ones without any delay.”

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