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Irrigation dept draws up roadmap to avoid flood-like situation

KOLKATA: Soon after Trinamool Congress (TMC) formed the government for the third consecutive term, the state Irrigation and Waterways department prepared a roadmap to avoid flood-like situation in the upcoming monsoon.

The plan includes completion of pending infrastructure development, stacking up of materials and deploying requisite manpower at vulnerable areas and setting up of a round-the-clock control room on immediate basis. The pending infrastructure development, including repairing of damaged embankments, would be completed within June 10.

State Irrigation minister Saumen Mahapatra held a high-level meeting at Jal Sampad Bhavan on Tuesday, a day after taking oath as a minister in Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Cabinet and directed officials to set up the control room immediately.

He has also directed to deploy engineers and other manpower at all the vulnerable points in the flood-prone districts. It needs a mention that all districts in the state, apart from Kalimpong and Purulia, are flood-prone. "I have directed to complete posting of manpower and stacking of materials at all vulnerable points in the next two days. I would also be holding a video conference with all concerned officials across every district on May 18 to take a stock of the situation of their areas after a detailed discussion with the senior officials of my department on the same day," Mahapatra said. The minister along with top brass of the department would also hold a meeting with Central Water Commission (CWC), Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and other concerned Central government agencies on the same day to urge them to take necessary steps to check flood-like situation in the state.

They would also be asked to ensure better coordination with the officers of the state Irrigation and Waterways department for better sharing of information related to release of water from reservoirs, weather forecast, etc. This comes when the work of repairing damages on embankments, development of infrastructures at vulnerable spots along river and canal banks is going on in war footing basis. The state government is investing around Rs 180 crore per year for the same.

With heavy rainfall on Tuesday, directions have also been given to boost up the pumping stations of the department in the city.

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