PATNA: Drawing a future course of action to fight perennial flood, Bihar government has decided to provide five boats each in all village panchayats of the state to smoother the rescue and relief operations.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has asked the Bihar State Disaster Management Authority (BSDMA) to arrange five boats in every village panchayat. “Arrange boats and boat sailing training programme for village youths”, said Kumar while presiding over the 10th meeting of the BSDMA here.
On the fund for the purchasing of the boats, he said the boats would be acquired through MP and MLA funds.
He directed the BSDMA to increase the strength of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) battalion from present 16 to 50.
“Chalk out concrete plans based on ground reality instead of making it academic and theoretical”, he told the BSDMA officials.
“It is the need of hour for the BSDMA to keep focus on training rather than wasting time on theoretical aspects of the disaster management”, he said.
Putting stress on mass awareness campaign on the prevention and safety aspects of the disaster management, the Chief Minister, who is also the chairman of the BSDMA, said,” We should start mass awareness campaign through mobile messaging and advertisement on the protection techniques from the natural calamities as the state has more than 6 crore people using mobile phones”.
He asked the BSDMA to make detailed survey of the Jamindari bunds across the state. The BSDMA has also been asked to prepare new work plans and set agenda of the authority in proper understanding with other departments so that there should be no overlapping of the work plans
Participating in the meeting, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi suggested that life jackets should be made available in all the boats given to every panchayat.
Disaster Management Department (DMD) secretary Prtayay Amrit said warehousing of polythene sheets should be done in December itself in preparation for next year’s flood.
Bihar has witnessed spate of floods in the last one month that claimed more than 500 lives and affected 1.5 crore people in 18 districts. Property and standing crops worth crores have been swept away by flood water.