Sub-Collector says tahsildars must identify low-lying areas which faced the threat of submersion in case of floods or cyclones.

Sub-Collector D. Harichandana on Wednesday asked officials to have a contingency plan in place for evacuation and rehabilitation of people in the event of floods or cyclone in the district.

Addressing a meeting attended by officials of various allied departments, Ms. Harichandana said that the objective must be to minimise loss of lives and property in the event of a natural calamity.

She said that in Vijayawada Revenue Division, nine mandals were located in the catchment areas of the Krishna river.

Torrential rains followed by floods may necessitate release of huge quantity of water from the upland areas into the Krishna river to mitigate the impact of floods. The officials must, therefore be ready with a contingency plan to shift residents of low-lying areas to safer destinations and later take up rehabilitation works.

She said that tahsildars must identify low-lying areas which faced the threat of submersion in the event of floods or cyclone in their respective mandals and based on the number of displaced families, they should identify rehabilitation centres. These centres must have basic amenities like electricity and drinking water supply.

The Transco officials must arrange for generators to ensure power supply during power-cuts and their counterparts from Fisheries Department must make a list of the number of boats required to ferry people besides identifying expert swimmers who could be pressed into service to save people.

She suggested constitution of community disaster force teams in villages vulnerable to submersion. Youth of the village and members of rythu mithra, Dwcra sangham and local voluntary organisations could be members of this team, she said.

She said that officials of Irrigation Department must ensure storage of at least 1,000 sand bags in each mandal, which could be used to plug any possible breach to the river bunds. The Revenue officials must identify and submit a list of senior citizens, physically challenged, pregnant women and children in villages and their counterparts in the Fire Services department must also gear up to meet any eventuality.

National Disaster Management Force in charge Santosh Kumar, District Medical and Health Officer Sarasajakshi, Fisheries Department Development Officer Parthasaradhy and a host of other officials were present.

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