With just a few weeks left for the monsoons, the authorities in Saurashtra are leaving no stone unturned to ensure safety of the villagers in case of a flood-like situation. Though only a couple of villages in the costal belt have been affected by the sea water ingress so far, the district authorities do not want to take any chance while checking on the adversities.
From information technology to human resources to security agencies like the local police and the SRP, all have been working in tandem to handle excess downpour and floods.
On Monday, the Disaster Management department headquarters at all the seven districts in Saurashtra — Rajkot, Junagadh, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Amreli, Surendranagar and Bhavnagar — set up 24-hour control rooms following the forecast of moderate to heavy rains accompanied by winds with velocity of over 60 kmph.
The district administration at Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Junagadh and Amreli, which fall on the costal belt, were put on alert after high tides created fears of sea ingress in the villages located on the shoreline.
"Barring two villages in Bhavnagar taluka, so far, the sea ingress has not been noticed. But a contingency plan, including nagarpalikas, talukas and districts, has been put in place to face any adversity," said Bhavnagar Resident Collector M C Trivedi.
The official added: "There have been some ingress reports from Kotda village, but the situation is under control. In such a situation, our major concern will remain on four talukas — Bhavnagar, Ghogha Tadaja and Mahuva — that are located on the coastline."
All the seven districts have been connected through Gujarat State Wide Area Network (GSWAN), which helps them share resources. Various districts have been sharing information on GSWAN about the available resources at a particular time and place. This aims to help the mamlatdar offices to get help from the nearest place rather than rely only on the district headquarters.
Besides, at Rajkot, a special training programme for disaster management has been going on for a fortnight to tackle the flood-like situations during the monsoons.
"Sixty men from various nagarpalikas of Saurashtra have been given rescue and relief training to handle fire and flood situations. A training programme for an SRP platoon is on," said Rajkot chief fire officer R K Maheshwari.
"These personnel can either lead operations to tackle small emergency or can be helpful in large scale disasters," he added. Equipped with one of the best and latest rescue equipment and training staff, the Rajkot Disaster Management department is considered the best in Saurashtra.
Jamnagar, which last year had to rely on Rajkot for rescue operations during floods, has done some up gradation to provide timely rescue. "The district administration from its own fund has acquired two speed boats and placed an order for two more," said Jamnagar district disaster management officer Dhananjay Goswami.
He added that last week a meeting with Jamnagar airbase officials was held to form an outline for aerial rescue, if required. Last year, speedboats from Rajkot and helicopter services from the airbase were pressed into service in various flooded parts of Jamnagar.