Amit Shah directs officials to be high alert for floods

Home Minister Amit Shah Saturday directed the NDRF and all agencies dealing with flood rescue and relief operations to remain on high alert so that they can handle any situation arising out of the natural calamity. The directive was issued at a high-level meeting chaired by Shah and attended by top officials. The home minister has directed the NDRF (National Disaster Relief Force) and all officials concerned to remain on high alert to deal with any situation arising out of the floods, Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai told reporters here. Heavy rains and floods so far affected Assam, Bihar and Meghalaya. While six people lost their lives in Assam, five died in Meghalaya and two in Bihar. Rai said the home minister directed the central government officials to be in regular touch with the states which were affected by the floods. The home minister said all efforts should be made to save lives and properties in flood-hit areas, Rai said. The meeting reviewed the rains in the country and officials briefed about the situation in Assam, Bihar and Meghalaya. NDRF teams have already been deployed in the affected states and, if required, more teams will be sent. We are ready to provide whatever help the states will need. 24- hour control rooms have also been set up by the agencies concerned, he said. Later, in a tweet, Shah said he had a meeting with MoS Nityanand Rai, senior MHA officials and the departments concerned on the issue of flood situation in various parts of the country. Directed all related officials to ensure proper relief, rescue and rehabilitation measures, he tweeted. In a statement, the Home Ministry said the India Metrological Department (IMD) informed that in the last 3-4 days, Assam and Bihar have got excess rainfall. Heavy rainfall is expected in these two states during the next 48 hours. The director general of the NDRF said that 73 NDRF teams have been pre-positioned in vulnerable areas of flood-affected states along with all necessary equipments. These teams are in addition to the teams kept on alert at battalion headquarters and Regional Response Centers (RRC). The NDRF teams have also rescued about 750 people in Assam and Bihar. The Central Water Commission (CWC) informed that in Assam Brahmaputra, Beki, Jiabharali, Katakhal and Barak and in Bihar Kamla, Bagmati, Mahananda, Gandak rivers are flowing in severe situation. Both the IMD and the CWC are issuing forecast bulletins at regular intervals. Control Rooms in MHA, NDRF, IMD and CWC are keeping close watch on the situation on a 24×7 basis, the statement said. After review, the home minister directed senior officers to take every possible measure to deal with the situation arising out of southwest monsoon in the country and to extend all necessary assistance to the flood-hit states, it said.