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Home / India News / PM Modi reviews situation in six flood-affected states

PM Modi reviews situation in six flood-affected states

The prime minister made these remarks at a virtual meeting with the chief ministers and representatives of six states to review the flood situation in various parts of the country.

india Updated: Aug 11, 2020 01:24 IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi
New Delhi, May 12 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)
New Delhi, May 12 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)(ANI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday underlined the need for a better coordination between the central and state agencies to have a permanent system for forecasting of floods.

He also stressed on extensive use of innovative technologies for improving the forecast-and-warning system.

The prime minister made these remarks at a virtual meeting with the chief ministers and representatives of six states to review the flood situation in various parts of the country.

The states that attended the meeting, which was convened to review their preparedness to deal with the southwest monsoon and the current flood situation in the country, were Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said at the meeting, Modi highlighted that the investments in localised early warning systems should be increased so that the people of an area can be cautioned on time in case of a threatening situation such as breached river embankments, inundation or lightning.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar drew the Prime Minister’s attention to the non-cooperation by Nepal in carrying out annual maintenance work on embankments falling on the other side of the international border, across Darbhanga and Madhepura districts, and also pitched for the removal of 25% cap on the amount to be spent for extending gratuitous relief to affected people in times of natural calamities.

Kumar said, “Floods in north Bihar are invariably caused by heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of rivers originating from Nepal. But in the absence of required co-operation from the neighbouring country, despite reaching out on official level, embankment repair works could not be completed on schedule in May and got extended to June-end this year.”

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government demanded setting up of a committee under the prime minister for tackling crisis situations in states and ensuring a better coordination. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also sought an immediate central assistance for Maharashtra in view of the June 3 Cyclone Nisarga that caused widespread damage in the state’s coastal districts and the August 5 downpour and heavy winds that battered Mumbai.

The Karnataka government said it requested the prime minister to provide an additional special assistance of Rs 4,000 crore to handle the flood situation in the southern state.

Representing the state government at the meeting, Karnataka home minister Basavaraj Bommai said that according to an initial assessment, the state had suffered a loss of Rs 4,000 crore due to the floods. “It is a preliminary estimate because the rains are continuing. A proper survey has to be done,” he said.

The meet, which lasted for nearly an hour and a half, was also attended by defence minister Rajnath Singh, health minister Harsh Vardhan, ministers of state for home Nityanand Rai and G Kishan Reddy, and senior officers of the central ministries and organisations concerned.

The prime minister asserted that in view of the COVID-19 situation, the states must ensure that people follow all health precautions such as wearing of face masks, hand sanitisation and maintaining an adequate physical distance with each other while undertaking rescue efforts.

He said the relief material must include provisions for hand washing and sanitising and face masks for the affected people. Special provisions should be made for elderly people, pregnant women and people with co-morbidities, he observed.

Modi said the states should ensure that all development and infrastructure projects are built with resilience to withstand local disasters and help reduce the consequential losses.

The prime minister pointed out that over the last few years, forecasting agencies such as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the Central Water Commission (CWC) are making concerted efforts to make better and more usable flood forecasts.

They are trying to provide not only rainfall and river-level forecasts, but also location-specific forecasts of inundation, he added.

Pilot projects are underway to use innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence to improve the location-specific forecasts, for which the states should provide the necessary information to these agencies and timely disseminate the warnings to the local communities, Modi said.

“The prime minister emphasised on better coordination between all central and state agencies to have a permanent system for forecasting of floods and extensive use of innovative technologies for improving forecast and warning system,” the PMO statement said.

The chief ministers of Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Kerala and the home minister of Karnataka gave updates on the flood situation and rescue efforts in their respective states, according to the statement.

They lauded the efforts of central agencies, including the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), for a timely deployment of teams and rescuing people.

The states also put forward some suggestions for short-term and long-term measures to mitigate the effects of floods.

The prime minister directed officials to take action on the suggestions.

He said the Centre will continue to provide support to the states and Union territories to strengthen their capabilities in dealing with various disasters.

According to those present at the meet, Modi said he would have visited all the states but could not due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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