No leave for Bengal government employees till October 5
The Mamata Banerjee government has cancelled leaves of all government employees till October 5, put all PWD engineers on alert and set up a unified control room to deal with the possible heavy rainfall next week.
Sources in Nabanna said the state government was not taking any chances as heavy rainfall is likely to hit Bengal again and could coincide with the bypolls at Bhowanipore scheduled on September 30 where chief minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting.
“The first target is that all vulnerable people should be moved to safe places. Moreover, we want to ensure that preparations for the bypolls are not affected,” said a source.
The combined control room includes representatives of all related state government departments, including disaster management, Calcutta Police, Calcutta Municipal Corporation, PWD, power and health.
“The CMC will send its force whenever waterlogging is reported. The disaster management department will send rescue team if anyone is trapped,” said a senior official.
The PWD has asked its engineers to intensify inspection of vulnerable roads, bridges and approach roads.
Engineers across the state have been asked to initiate immediate steps to restore damaged roads and bridges.The PWD has made it clear that more funds will be available for repairs in case cost exceeds the limit of funds released for maintenance or minor jobs.
The state government has also cancelled leaves of all government employees till October 5 as it is apprehended that the government might have to work round the clock to repair the damage that could occur owing to heavy rainfall.
“It is vital to repair damages before Pujas. We need to ensure all preparations for the Bhowanipore bypolls are in place even if heavy rainfall occurs,” said a senior official.
According to a message sent to district magistrates from Nabanna on Saturday evening, the cyclone likely to make a landfall between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh coast on September 26 may not impact Bengal much. But heavy rain is expected from Saturday night in Bengal’s coast. The other cyclone likely to hit Odisha and Bengal coast on September 28 may impact the area between Gosaba and Sagar Islands. Heavy rain is likely in Bengal between September 27 and 29.
District magistrates and commissioners have been asked to evacuate people in low-lying areas by September 27 morning.
Integrated control rooms should be made operational immediately. Irrigation department must deploy engineers in vulnerable areas and repair damaged embankments, if required.
The district officials have been asked to keep enough water pouches, dry food and tarpaulin in stock to help people in distress and run relief camps.