An Excerpt from The Statesman (05May2009) - North Bengal and Sikkim Plus
N Bengal prepares for monsoon floods
Statesman News Service
JALPAIGURI, April 5: The commissioner, Jalpaiguri division, Mr J Sundar Sekhar today held a divisional level meeting on flood control with officials of six north Bengal districts.
The magistrates of six districts, land and land reforms department officials, representatives of the Indian Army, Sashastra Seema Bal, Indian Air Force, BSF and other state and Central agencies attended the meeting.
“The monsoons are on their way and given the characteristics of north Bengal's fast flowing rivers, floods are a serious probability, as was experienced in the past. Under the circumstances, the administration has decided to take measures in advance and apply new techniques to handle flood-related calamity in the region. It is the district administration and irrigation department's responsibility to initiate projects or plans for flood control but the process was disrupted due to the Lok Sabha poll. With the election over in these parts, the Election Commission is providing clearance to some projects,” Mr Sekhar said.
The divisional commissioner added that enough funds were in hand to handle flood related problems in the region. “Funds are not a problem. We need to work out a comprehensive plan to handle the situation efficiently. Today's meeting was held to prepare the administration and unite all the state and Central concerns for better coordination. We have decided to hold regular district level coordination meetings with these agencies and to open flood-related control rooms in every district immediately. The irrigation and animal husbandry departments have already opened a few control rooms in some districts. The wireless network of the police, BSF, army and forest department would also be used to share flood-related information,” he said.
The issue of river erosion was also discussed in today's meeting. “All required renovation and repair works of dams and bridges would be completed before the onset of the monsoons.
A meeting would be held with the Bhutan government on flood control after the Lok Sabha elections,” the DC said.
Comment by Praful Rao
Way back in the 1980's I have attended one of the above meetings at Jalpaiguri as the IAF (Indian Air Force) representative.
Now with the monsoons right around the corner, I wonder whether a similar meeting has been held at the Darjeeling district level to TRY and PREVENT, CONTROL, MITIGATE and MANAGE LANDSLIDES ; even as I notice that
i) there is not a word mentioned about landslides in the above report.
ii) new technology for landslide mitigation and prevention is also available but has yet to see the light of day in this part of the world.
ii) there is explicit mention that FUNDS ARE NOT A PROBLEM.
Italics are mine in the above excerpt.