Schools and colleges closed in Punjab on September 25
Punjab Update Bureau
Chandigarh, September 24: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday ordered closure of all schools and colleges for tomorrow while reviewing the flood like situation triggered in the state due to incessant rains.
The Army has been asked to remain on alert to help the state deal with any eventuality arising out of the situation.
Chairing an emergency meeting here at his official residence, the Chief Minister also announced a special girdawari for assessing crop damage due to heavy rains over the past four days. He asked the Financial Commissioner Revenue (FCR) to issue detailed guidelines to the Deputy Commissioners for initiating the process of girdawari immediately after the water level recedes.
The Chief Minister also asked the Ministers and MLAs to tour their respective areas extensively to assess the ground situation and tie up with the concerned departments for immediate redressal of hardships being faced by the people. He also directed the Food & Civil Supplies and Animal Husbandry Ministers to appoint nodal officers for distribution of food packets to the affected people and dry fodder for the animals in view of the situation.
The Chief Minister also asked the FCR to seek any assistance from Army, BSF and NDRF and other paramilitary forces, if needed.
Apprising the Chief Minister about the situation, the FCR said that he was personally in touch with all the Deputy Commissioners to keep close watch on the situation and had asked them to further liaise with the concerned Army authorities within their respective jurisdiction for help in case of any eventuality.
The FCR informed the Chief Minister that a contingency fund to the tune of Rs.7.40 crore has been placed at the disposal of Deputy Commissioners to get Flood Protection Works executed besides carrying out rescue operations.
Emphasizing the need to monitor the situation on a regular basis, the Chief Minister asked the senior officers of various departments and the Deputy Commissioners to liaison closely with the FCR to tide over the prevailing grim situation.
Expressing concern over the possible outbreak of water borne diseases including diarrhea, jaundice and conjunctivitis etc., Captain Amarinder Singh asked the Health department to take preventive measures by organizing special medical checkup camps and arranging sufficient stock of medicines in this behalf. ACS Health informed the Chief Minister that the department was fully geared to face any problem and all the civil surgeons had been asked to closely monitor the situation in coordination with the concerned Deputy Commissioners.
Taking part in the deliberations, BBMB Chief DK Sharma apprised the Chief Minister that situation at Bhakhra reservoir was in control so far and they were regularly monitoring the water levels at Pong Dam.
Meanwhile, Principal Secretary Water Resources pointed out that the water level at Pong Dam was at present 1385.12 feet against the maximum level of 1390 feet, the level at Bhakhra was at 1655.49 feet against maximum capacity of 1680 feet and at Ranjit Sagar Dam which feeds river Ravi was 526.65 meter against the maximum level of 527.91 meter.
Earlier, the Chief Principal Secretary to CM said that in compliance with the red alert already issued by the state government this morning, all the Deputy Commissioners were keeping a close tab over the current situation in view of incessant rains and disaster control rooms had been activated. All the officials have been directed to remain at standby in view of the situation.
Besides, the Army had also been requested to remain on alert to help the state in such a situation. The DCs have been asked to identify hotspots with clear evacuation and relief plans ready before hand. Equipment to drain out flood waters had been kept handy. Apart from these, districts in catchment area of three rivers Satluj, Ravi and Beas had already arranged enough boats to rescue the affected people.
Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting included; Health & Family Welfare Minister Brahm Mohindra, Revenue & Water Resources Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Animal Husbandry Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, Food & Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) NS Kalsi, Financial Commissioner Revenue MP Singh, Additional Chief Secretary Health & Family Welfare Satish Chandra, Additional Chief Secretary Development Viswajeet Khanna, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Special Principal Secretary to CM Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, Principal Secretary Water Resources Jaspal Singh, Secretary Expenditure Raj Kamal Chaudhary and Director Food & Civil Supplies Anindita Mitra.