GUWAHATI, April 21 - The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) is chalking out a plan to manage both COVID-19 emergency and flood-induced disasters concurrently in the coming days.
The plan will be finalised soon and come into action immediately as the pre-monsoon season has already started across the State with continuous heavy rainfall and thunderstorms.
The plan will come at a time when the coronavirus-induced medical emergency situation is keeping the whole State government machinery, including the ASDMA, engaged. At present it has become a great challenge for Assam to face both flood and medical emergency at the same time.
Sources said though the flood preparedness has been started from February, at present all the efforts are in abeyance due to the medical emergency situation.
As part of the preparedness, the State Fire and Emergency Service (SFES) has started repairing its water vessels and other equipment. A senior official said at present SFES has more than 100 water vessels, including rubber boats, fibre-reinforced plastic boats and high-density polyethylene boats.
Sources said Assam has 40 places vulnerable to flood. Moreover, this time Morigaon, Dhubri, Golaghat, Sivasagar and Hojai districts are under strict surveillance. As part of the preparedness, the State government is also working to form a full-fledged battalion of the SDRF.
Assam also has one battalion of NDRF and deployment of its personnel will start soon in vulnerable places. This time, NDRF personnel will be equipped with PPE kits to face COVID-19 cases amid the flood. For this purpose, around 3,000 PPE kits will reach Assam from New Delhi soon.