Bhopal: As the state continued to receive an unusually high rainfall, Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary SR Mohanty said in Indore on Monday the government was prepared to handle the emergency situation.
Against the average annual rainfall of 889mm, the central Indian state has till now received 1183.9mm, which is almost 33% more than normal. “West MP received more rainfall, while some areas in the east were rain deficient. Hence, an average 30% more rains were received in the state this season,” said senior official, while adding that the situation had mostly remained under control, barring the last two weeks when there was very heavy rainfall in some areas.
Regarding the Gandhi Sagar Dam (GSD) in Mandsaur, Mohanty said the dam had reached the mark of 1,318 feet, around six feet above the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) on Saturday and against inflow of 16 lakh cusec of water, the outflow was just 6.6 lakh cusec.
The Union cabinet secretary had convened a video conference meeting with chief secretaries of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan on Sunday to review the situation arising out of the overflowing dam. “As the water level reached 1,318 feet on Saturday at GSD, we in consultation with officials from Rajasthan released water into three downstream dams of the neighbouring state after undertaking prior relief and rescue measures there,” the senior officer said.
The dam’s backwaters have marooned over 80 villages in Neemuch and rescue efforts were underway at Rampura basti. The officer said water level at the dam has receded to 1,315 feet and if there is no unusual heavy rain in the next few days, the dam would be absolutely safe. With water going beyond the FRL, rumours were doing the rounds that cracks had started appearing at the dam. Earlier, Mandsaur Collector Manoj Pushp had warned against spreading ‘lies’ and said the dam was completely safe.
In Mandsaur, the official said 955 villages were affected due to heavy downpour in five tehsils and on Sunday, there were 21,000 people in relief camps. As the situation returned to normal, the number reduced to 15,000 by Monday. In Manasa tehsil of Neemuch, a dozen villages with a population of about 30,000 were affected and 2,500 were evacuated to safety while crops have been damaged in 75,000 hectares of land.
In Ratlam, 700 have been evacuated to safety. In Bhind, 3,500 families were being rescued by the Army, home guards and State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF), while in Morena, 3,000 residents of 35 villages in five tehsils were affected and relief and rescue operations were underway. The situation was under control in Mandsaur, Neemuch, Ratlam and Agar Malwa, while areas like Bhind, Morena and Sheopur were being regularly monitored.
Amid allegations from senior BJP leader and former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan that the Kamal Nath-led Congress government wasn’t doing enough for affected farmers, Mohanty said earlier, it would take 20-50 days to calculate post-monsoon damage, but now, with three months of advance planning, the state was ready with tentative estimates of damage.
While the agriculture sector has suffered losses worth Rs 8,000 crore, other departments may have witnessed losses to the tune of Rs 1,800 to 2,000 crore, said Mohanty, adding final figures were expected to come out soon.
“Our estimates would be complete by September 17 and we would hand over a memorandum to a central team that is expected to visit the two divisions on September 19 and 20,” the official said. The government will hand over the final estimate figures to the central team on September 23 and 24. The chief secretary added, “We would also help out farmers through compensation under Section 64 of Revenue Book Circular.”
He said earlier, road repair work used to start by November-December and got over by February-March. “We have already invited tenders and repair work would start between Sep 20 and 30 once the rain stops,” said the CS adding all the work is likely to be completed by November 30.