The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday criticised the Goa government for failing to implement the recommendations of “Canacona Flash Floods Study Committee” to ensure that damage caused due to devastating flash floods that hit Canacona taluk of south Goa on October 2, 2009 did not recur.
Addressing a press conference at the NCP city headquarters on Tuesday, vice president of NCP and Chief spokesperson said that the four main recommendations included the need to assemble and analyse available information to describe and identify causes behind the flash floods, and mapping areas vulnerable to mudslides.
The report said that site-specific disaster management plan (DMP) should be prepared to face flash floods and they should be in place at each location with high vulnerability, areas with high vulnerability to flooding should be identified and DMP should be evolved at locations that are particularly vulnerable.
A mechanism to keep a careful watch on such places should be developed, the report said, adding that the Meteorological Centre of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Panaji should form the nerve centre of such a watch. It urged that Goa should make IMD’s “Cyclone Warning Dissemination System “operational in the State.
Mr. D’Mello further recalled that the Committee had observed that heavy rainfall events could be looked upon as a warning of a potential flash flood, and suggested that the State should invest in well known practices in forest management to prevent mud-slipping, afforestation of mountain slopes and river management with de-silting of the river beds in Galgibad and Talpona rivers at Canacona.
Mr. D’Mello pointed out that it was proposed to involve faculty and students from Goan Undergraduate and Post Graduate institutions to carry out mapping and DMP.
Suggestions were made to create awareness programmes especially in the vulnerable areas, guiding people on how to respond to crisis situations. The report identified 14 vulnerable areas in different parts of Goa, including 10 more vulnerable and four less vulnerable regions.
A Doplar Radar with a range of 400 km was to be installed at a centrally located place. Automated Weather Stations were to be installed at all 14 places.
But the State government, Mr. D’Mello said, had failed to even lift a finger to act upon these recommendations – they should have taken action at least in Canacona taluk which suffered in the previous floods. The NCP alleged that the State government had recently revealed that it transferred the funds collected for Canacona tragedy to Uttarakhand and Kedarnath victims.
He said that there was fear and anxiety in the minds of people of Canacona in particular and Goa in general as similar situation had arisen these days with continuous rainfall since last week.
“The NCP also demands to know why no afforestation of Canacona forests and de-silting of Galgibag and Talpona rivers is not done till date,” asked Mr. D’Mello and warned that if the history of 2009 repeated in Canacona or any other part of Goa, people would hold the government responsible for sheer carelessness, negligence and for any kind of loss.