Odisha Flood Preparedness: Minister reviews 

Odisha Flood

Odisha Flood Preparedness:  A review meeting on flood preparedness for upcoming Monsoon season of 2023 has been held under the Chairmanship of Minister, Water Resources, Commerce and Transport, Odisha Smt. Tukuni Sahu in the Conference Hall of Department of Water Resources on Tuesday.

Development Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary, DoWR Smt. Anu Garg along with senior officials and engineers of the department were present in the meeting.  Chief Engineers of different river basins attended the meeting through virtual mode and participated in the discussion.

In the meeting, Minister Smt. Sahu stressed upon proper inspection of different river embankments before the onset of monsoon. It was informed that the joint inspection of embankments has been completed. Minister suggested the officers and engineers working at the field level to further monitor the weak embankments, vulnerable points and to ensure that repairing works have been done properly.

Minister said that, the DoWR has successfully managed flood occurred last year taking all possible steps and collective efforts of the officials, engineers and all concerned. But proper preparation will save us from possible loss of life and property. Hon’ble Chief Minister has always said that ‘every life is precious’. There should be a concerted effort of everyone on how to protect the wealth and life of Odisha, Hon’ble Minister stated.

Minister also expressed that the DoWR is working with Team Work effort and on this basis, it can be able to manage possible floods firmly in the upcoming monsoon season and sought everyone’s cooperation. The Minister also suggested taking cooperation of concerned District Collectors, people’s representatives, Sarpanches where there is a possibility of breaches, repair of embankments, piping etc. She also said that the cooperation of the common people during the floods is our resource.

The Development Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary Smt. Garg said that one of the major tasks of the DoWR is preparedness for the Monsoon flood. The department officials and engineers have been doing preparation to manage flood every year. Though we have successfully managed the flood last year, we should not be complacent and advised everyone to perform their duties with responsibilities and cent per cent dedication.

In the meeting held, the status of 8 large 47 medium Water Reservoirs in the State was discussed and their condition is reported to be good. In September 2021, there were 20 floods, while in August 2022, there were eight. Whereas all the other breaches have been repaired, one breach in the Mahanadi North division is under repair and the work is in the final stage of completion.

It was informed in the meeting that it’s stone packing work will be completed by June 30 and its repair work will be completed by July 10.Similarly, 720 piping were created in 2022 in different divisions and they have already been repaired.

Coordination with Public Representatives, PRIs, District & local administration, Local police, NGOs etc are being carried out to manage the ensuing monsoon flood.  The Dam authorities have been instructed to organise joint meetings with counterpart authorities of the Co-basin State for mutual sharing of information.

The Chief Engineer, Drainage to identify areas which are prone to waterlogging and take pre-emptive measures. Instructions have been issued to keep machineries such as tractor, excavator and manpower in readiness for clearance of congestion in drains. Closed mouth of Hansua River at Jatadari Muhana has been opened for smooth release of flood waters into Bay of Bengal to mitigate flood in Ersama block.

The Flood Forecasting model of GOWATER has been setup for 4 prioritized basins; Mahanadi, Rushikulya, Brahmani and Baitarani basins. The model shall be put to use in the flood season of 2023.The total number of embankments in the State is 7473.206 km, of which 1635.945 km are saline. Meanwhile, necessary repairs and mock drill operation of sluice gates of all river dams, barrages, etc., including the Hirakud water reservoir have been completed. All vulnerable embankments areas have been stocked with flood fighting materials and equipment in view of probable flood(s).

The 24-hour control room, which is functioning from June 1 at Secha Sadan, will remain operational till October 31. Control rooms have also been opened at all division and circle levels. In the context of flood management, the Telephone numbers of the senior officers of the department have been shared to all concerned for emergency co-ordination.

Among others Special Secretary, DoWR & MD, OLIC Shri Sudhanshu Mohan Samal & EIC, Bhakta Ranjan Mohanty were also present in the meeting.