Tripura lays down specific plans to tackle monsoon amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted in Featured, Tripura

Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura

Agartala, June 18, 2021: With the experience of having battled floods since years, the Tripura Government, keeping the COVID-19 situation in mind has now laid out specific action-plans to manage the impending flood-like situations in the state and other Northeastern regions.

Monsoon struck the state’s frontier on June 6. According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the South West monsoon seasonal rainfall (June-September) for the North East region is likely to be less than 95% of long period average rainfall, that stands below the normal average.

The seasonal pre-monsoon March-May rainfall received by the state is 61% below normal. In April, the state received upto 85 percent below normal rainfall, and the average stood to be 50% below the normal. However, it is assumed that the probability of rainfall is likely to be above normal for the month of June.

According to the Preparedness of Flood Situation (South West Monsoon) in Tripura – 2021 report, Agartala stands 15 metres above the mean sea level. Eight districts of Tripura are prone to both normal and flash floods. About 40 percent of the geographical areas are vulnerable to floods, with most of them lying in low areas.

For flood forecasting, The Public Works Department (PWR) and Central Water Commission (CWC) have constructed their gauge stations in major rivers – Haora, Katakhal, Gomati, Khowai, Manu, Dhalai, Muhuri, Feni, Juri, Kakri and Deo rivers.

“North East Space Application Centre (NESAC) has also developed Flood Early Warning System (FEWS) for Dhalai, Gomati, Manu, Haora and Khowai to provide flood early warnings during monsoon.” – asserted by a state official.

CONTACTS DURING EMERGENCY SITUATION

The state and district emergency operation centres are functioning on a 24×7 basis. Toll free numbers working in the state (1070) and district EOCs (1077).

Besides, Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) Incident Command and Control Centre (ICCC) is also functioning in IT Bhawan for providing real time water inundation and flood water drainage in major locations of Agartala smart city.

“A standard checklist has been provided to all districts for ensuring flood preparedness at the district levels. Control room (112) is also functioning for any emergency response and coordination,” the official added. Online situation reporting is updated at sub-division, district and state level on a daily basis.

INFRASTRUCTURE

A total of 176 boats operating for the emergency causes, includes 120 motor boats available at districts, sub-divisions, Tripura State Rifles (TSR) battalions, fire and emergency services, Central Training Centre (CTI) and other key agencies. Besides, motor boats are made available to the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams.

All district magistrates have been requested to keep readiness of wooden boats at vulnerable locations for immediate response.

Besides boats, 40 critical equipments are readily available at different locations. Trained volunteers and officials have been identified for operating and maintaining of such equipments.

200 trained Aapda Mitra volunteers are working closely with district administration, Sepahijala district. For its upscaling, Aapda Mitra scheme, volunteers have been identified in other districts.

Two teams of NDRF are stationed at Agartala and Kumarghat for immediate response to such circumstances.

Adequate funds under State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) made available to the district administrations for immediate rescue and relief operations.

All the districts are having district disaster management plans that include vulnerable locations, resources, key personnel, roles and responsibilities of key agencies and departments, flood shelters, guidelines and standard operating procedures for handling disaster situations in the districts.

COVID-19 COMPLIANCE

Considering the present situation, all district administrations have been requested to identify more flood shelters, adhering to appropriate COVID-19 protocols during the crisis.

MISCELLANEOUS MEASURES

India Disaster Resource Network (IDRN) is being updated on a monthly basis at the district level for mobilization of equipment and trained manpower for timely assistance.

PWD (WR) has been requested to check the vulnerable embankments and take immediate safety measures. The department was also advised to keep adequate sand bags, cement boulders and flood protection materials at strategic locations for immediate restoration.

Key line departments like Health, PWD(R&B), Power, Drinking Water, Urban Development, Food and Civil Supplies, Fire Services and Telecommunications have been advised to take flood preparedness measures.

Disaster safety awareness should be regularly generated on floods, cyclones, lightning, landslides for the general public via print, social and electronic media.

For mitigation, the districts and line departments would be submitting proposals as per draft guidelines of the Government of India.

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