Dispute over flood review; Revenue dept wants nodal agencies to conduct study
Thiruvananthapuram: A dispute is going on regarding the assessments of the impact and damages caused by the flood havoc in Kerala. The revenue department has come up with disagreements over assigning the duty to various departments and agencies bypassing the state disaster management authority and the nodal agencies of the central government.
Additional Chief Secretary of Revenue Department sent a letter to the chief minister requesting to entrust the duties of flood review with the Geological Survey of India and the Central Water Commission. Also it has been demanded that the studies presently conducted by these agencies need to be hastened.
A planning board has been set up to coordinate various agencies and stage a study on the cause and impact of the flood and landslide. The board had convened a meeting of departments and research institutions the other day. Universities, foreign agencies and research centres have come forward to study about the flood.
It has been noted in the letter of the revenue department that many agencies and departments staging studies can lead to ambiguities. Also this will be a hindrance for the government to have a clear understanding.
The recommendations and suggestions should be accepted only after discussing with nodal agencies even if other agencies are assigned with the duty.
As per the national disaster management plan, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) is responsible for studying about landslides. GSI is staging studies about the landslide prone areas in Kerala as requested by the State Disaster Management Authority.
A map will be prepared by 2020. The state should demand to complete the same within six months. Only the maps prepared by GSI is valid as per the Disaster Management Act.
The nodal agency responsible to prepare a flood risk map is the Central Water Commission. National Remote Sensing Authority has marked the places hit by the flood on alternate days from June 1 as demanded by the State Disaster Management Authority.
The authority is working with new entrepreneurs to collect details of the flood-hit regions. This will be published after crosschecking with the data of the central Water Commission. Also it has been demanded to convene a meeting of the local committee of the water commission within September 10 to prepare the flood map.
The revenue department directed that sign boards showing the flood water level should be displayed in all government offices and local bodies hit by the flood within two weeks.
The sign board should be placed at the highest point where the flood water reached. Also the date of the flood and the maximum flood water level need to be marked on it.