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South Goa sarpanchas asked to be alert if evacuation need arises

MARGAO: All the sarpanchas and panchas in South Goa district have been asked to remain alert to make necessary arrangements incase the people need to be evacuated.

In the backdrop of forecast that Cyclone Nilofar, which is likely to hit the west coast of the country, would bring in heavy rains to the state, Damodar Morajkar, additional collector, south,  who is also holding the charge as Collector, on Monday, held an emergency meeting of the district disaster management committee so that it can gear up fully to face any eventuality.

“I have requested the deputy collectors in the South Goa district to keep in mind the past history of floods, and according focus on such areas. They are told to have separate meetings with the mamlatdars and talathis of their  respective areas to keep contact with the local sources in the village as they play a pivotal role during the time of  need. The locals know about the danger-prone zones  of their areas,’’ Morajkar said after the meeting.

He has asked the deputy collectors to direct the various agencies to be alert in view of the warning of heavy rains by the IMD.

Asked about whether the necessary system is in place for tackling  the likely threat from the heavy rains, he said that as per the district disaster management plan, equipment are arranged at the taluka level through local agencies.

He said that there were no reports from any control room about any  untoward incident on the Sunday night.

While   the  Margao Municipal Council has been asked to  provide labourers and  vehicles, the Fire and Emergency Services has been  asked to be  ready with their available equipment.

The  deputy director of panchayats was urged to alert all the  sarpanchas and panchas  in South Goa to make  necessary arrangements incase people need to be evacuated.

Superintendent of police (SP)  Shekhar Prabhudesai;  Deputy  Director of  Panchayats,  officials from the  municipal councils, deputy collectors, personnel from Fire and Emergency Services and some other officials attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, the deputy collector Sangeeta Naik held meeting on Monday evening with the mamlatdars and  talathis and  asked them to be alert.

Naik also  issued `most  urgent’ circulars to the deputy director of   panchayats on preparedness in view of Cyclon Nilofar centred over  west central and adjoining south west  Arabian sea asking the sarpanchas to  hand over the  panchayat halls  to the concerned  talathis and to keep panchayat offices  open for  24 hours,  with  one staff member remaining present at the office.

Meanwhile, disappointed with some members of the disaster management committee  — PWD, electricity, health and WRD officials, skipping the meeting of the committee held in view of the threat of heavy rainfall, Morajkar said that he would inform the  government  about their absence, for taking necessary action.

“I am  disappointed  by the absence of these officials.  Their  absence  shows how serious they are towards their role in the committee. None of the  officials from health department,  electricity department,  water resources department and PWD attended the meeting. I will be informing about it to the government,’’ he added.

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