Madurai

Despite low threat, Madurai prepared to face Cyclone Nivar, officials says

Many waterbodies in Madurai district have less than 75% storage.  

Though Cyclone Nivar is unlikely to have any major impact on Madurai district, the district administration is fully geared to meet any eventuality. Collector T. Anbalagan held discussion with officials of various departments and inspected the Disaster Management control room on Wednesday.

With no rainfall reported in Madurai district for the past five days and a majority of the waterbodies having less than 75% storage, Madurai district faced a low threat, according to a senior official. “Initially, it was predicted that northern parts of the district along Kottampatti would have heavy rainfall. However, with the movement of the cyclone towards the north, the threat perception has come down,” the official said.

Not much storage

The district has reported nil rainfall since November 20. Out of the 1,322 irrigation tanks belonging to the Public Works Department, only 179 tanks have water for 75% of their capacity. While 158 tanks have 50% to 75% storage, the remaining tanks have less than 25% storage. Similarly, out of the 951 minor irrigation tanks, only 2 tanks have over 75% storage while others have less than 25% storage. “This has lessened the threat of flooding,” the source added.

Meanwhile, zonal teams have already inspected the 27 low-lying areas that are vulnerable to flooding. The district administration has identified old buildings and vulnerable dwellings like mud wall huts and in case of heavy rain, people would be evacuated as a precautionary measure and provided shelter in relief camps.

Out of the 27 areas, 24 vulnerable areas are in the Madurai city limits. The district administration has asked the Corporation administration to take steps to ensure that the areas that have been dug up for executing work under Smart City projects are given special focus.

Firemen ready

The entire strength of firemen in all 14 fire and rescue services stations have been kept on an alert mode.

“All vehicles and equipment meant to face the cyclone has been kept ready,” said District Officer (Fire and Rescue), S. Kalyanakumar.

Life buoys, life jackets, ropes and inflatable boats, equipment like power saws and concrete cutters have been kept ready. Generators and pumps are available in all stations. Meanwhile, the district administration has asked officials of TANGEDCO to replace vulnerable electric posts.

Water stagnation spots identified

Corporation Commissioner, S. Visakan, said that all the stormwater drains and culverts have been cleaned to prevent blockages.

“We have identified 300 spots of water stagnation. The problem and its solution for all the spots have been documented and copies are available with the Assistant Engineers to mitigate the situation at the earliest,” he said.

The Madurai Corporation has a 24x7 control room. Any distress call received over 842-842-5000 would be recorded. “To avoid time delays, the phone number of the AE concerned would be shared with the caller. Similarly, the nature of complaint would be sent to the AE both in text and the recorded conversation with the caller. This will help the AE to gauge the gravity of the situation and act accordingly,” Mr. Visakan said.

The complaint would be closed only after getting feedback from the complainant.

Efforts have been taken to reduce the time of draining the stagnant water. Adequate number of motor pumps have been kept ready to drain water, he added.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 9:20:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/despite-low-threat-madurai-prepared-to-face-cyclone-nivar-officials-says/article33175809.ece

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