Crowding hampers rescue operations, officials tell District Collector

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC would henceforth be issued at accident sites to ensure smooth conduct of rescue operations, District Collector Biju Prabhakar has said.

Addressing a meeting of the heads of various departments at the Collectorate here on Monday to evaluate disaster-relief operations, Mr. Prabhakar said the crowding of people at Karikkakom, where a labourer had recently died when the well he was digging caved in, had only worsened the situation.

The district administration would take steps to prevent onlookers from hampering relief operations, a press release said. Vehicles parked in a manner that impeded easy access to a disaster/accident site would be towed away. Only relatives of those involved in an accident, rescue workers, and media personnel would be given access to an accident site.

Officials pointed out at the meeting that many a rescue operation was hampered by crowding. The Collector directed the Fire and Rescue Services to ensure that they had adequate equipment to be deployed at accident sites. Mr. Prabhakar also told the meeting that a disaster-relief plan for the district was in the making. Heads of various departments had been asked to submit their suggestions. A list of those who lost their houses in rain and were eligible for compensation would be published on official websites. Steps were also being taken to bring drinking water to drought-prone areas. Tahsildars should evaluate the progress of road construction and pipe-laying activities before transferring funds for it, the Collector added.