News Desk: PM Modi held a meeting today through video conference with Chief Ministers of six States. The six states are namely Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Kerala. The meeting was held to review their preparedness to deal with south-west monsoon and the current flood situation. The meeting was also attended by Defense Minister and Health Minister. Minister of State in Home Affairs and senior officers of concerned central Ministries also attended the meeting.
Prime Minister emphasized on better coordination between all central and state agencies. He also emphasized on having a permanent system for forecasting of floods. Modi stressed on extensive use of innovative technologies for improving forecast and warning system.
Modi said that the forecasting agencies like India Meteorological Department and Central Water Commission have been making concerted efforts to make better and more usable flood forecasts. They are trying to provide not only rainfall and river level forecast but also location-specific forecast of inundation.
There are pilot efforts underway to also use innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence improves locations specific forecast. States must provide necessary information to these agencies. The authority must timely disseminate the warnings to local communities.
PM highlighted that investment should be increased in a localized early warning system. People in a particular area can be provided with a timely warning in case of any threatening situation such as breach of river embankment, inundation level, lightning, etc.
Modi also stressed in view of COVID-19 situation while undertaking rescue efforts. The states must ensure that people follow all health precautions such as wearing a face mask, hand sanitization. They must maintain adequate physical distance. The relief materials must include provisions for handwashing, sanitizing, and face masks for the affected people. Special provisions should be made for elderly people, pregnant women, and people with co-morbidity.
States should ensure that all development and infrastructure projects must be built with resilience. The infrastructures must withstand local disasters and help in reducing consequential losses.
Chief Ministers of Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, and Home Minister of Karnataka gave an update on the flood situation. They also gave updates on rescue efforts made in their respective States. The Chief Ministers complimented the efforts of central agencies including NDRF teams in timely deployment and rescuing people. They also gave some suggestions for short-term and long-term measures for mitigating the effects of floods.
The PM directed the officers of concerned Ministries and organizations to take action on the suggestions given by the States. He assured that the Centre will continue to provide its support to the States and Union Territories. This support will strengthen their capabilities for dealing with various disasters.