Itanagar, June 14: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday chaired a review meeting on monsoon preparedness as the northeastern state has already witnessed heavy rains triggering landslides and flash floods even before the onset of the southwest monsoon.
At the meeting with the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) here, the chief minister expressed concern over habitats in and around the state capital vulnerable to landslides and floods, and asked Disaster Management director Komkar Dulom to survey, map, and notify all vulnerable habitats and facilitate shifting of all such families to safer locations, officials said.
The Chief Minister also stressed the need for extensive information, education, and communication (IEC) campaigns to create awareness among the people, they said. "Without thinking of any possible disaster, our people tend to build houses and reside in areas which are prone to landslides and floods during the monsoons. We need to make them aware even if it takes time," the chief minister said.
Khandu also expressed concern over rampant earth cutting in the state capital and called upon the department to coordinate with the district administration to end such activities. While accepting the department's suggestion to put in place a real-time monitoring system in the state for early warning signals of upcoming disasters to prevent loss of lives and other damages, Khandu asked the department to seek the help of reputed institutes for technologies that can provide warning signals.
The chief minister also reviewed the preparedness in terms of availability of medicines, essential commodities, manpower in the districts, and fund position of the department, they said. It was also agreed that a certain portion of the state disaster relief management fund would be used for mitigation purposes only. Earlier in the meeting, Disaster management Secretary Dani Salu said that personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) 12th Battalion have been positioned at Bomdila in West Kameng district and Tezu in Lohit district. Units of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been positioned at the five Regional Response Centres at Dirang, Ziro, Pasighat, Tezu, and Khonsa for quick response to any disaster situation.
"Our department is in constant touch with agencies like the CWC, IMD, hydropower, water resources, urban development, and public health engineering for liaising, coordination, and information sharing to put in place precautionary measures in advance," Salu said.