Odisha CM asks officials for vigil on Mahanadi flood

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Bhubaneswar, July 23 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday directed officials and departments concerned to remain on alert to handle possible flooding of Mahanadi river due to incessant rains.

Chairing a review meeting here, the Chief Minister also asked them to ensure immediate relief to the affected in case of flood.

The districts falling in Mahanadi basin are Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Khurda and Puri.

The Chief Minister directed the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and the fire services to help district administrations in rescue and relief operations.

He directed the district authorities to assess losses and damages caused wherever the situation had improved after torrential rains in the past three days.

Patnaik said the damage assessment reports should be submitted to the state so that assistance could be provided to the affected.

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“Over 300 mm rainfall has been recorded in 23 blocks in three days while 46 blocks have experienced over 200 mm rainfall. People had been warned much earlier,” said Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi.

“The casualty figures are almost nil. As ODRAF, fire service units and administrative staff worked hard, the situation is returning to normal,” he added.

The official said that water level is increasing in Baitarani river. “Keeping this in view, the Chief Minister has directed district administrations to remain on high alert and provide people with all relief.”

Baitarani river at Akhuapada is flowing above the danger mark, which could affect some villages in Dhamnagar and Bhandaripokhari areas. Those residing in low-lying areas of Mundali have been alerted, he added.

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The Water Resources Department planned to open Hirakud reservoir sluices on Tuesday.

–IANS

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