5 Sep :The Union Home Secretary, Shri Madhukar Gupta today chaired a meeting of the National Executive Committee to review the flood situation in Bihar.
Representatives from the concerned ministries of the Government of India and the Bihar Government were among those present at the meeting. It was informed at the meeting that evacuation, wherever required, has already been done. Around 10 lakh people have been evacuated so far. Of them, 3 lakh are in the relief camps. 257 relief camps are operational and 3 mega-camps have been planned at three district headquarters.
The Union Home Secretary said that the drinking water and sanitation issues now need to be under focus and suggested more expert interaction and ground level visits for the purpose. He was apprised that 610 hand-pumps have been installed in the camps and work on providing toilets and other sanitary facilities is continuing. 300 metric tonnes of medicines were moved yesterday and vaccination at the camps will start shortly. 600 tonnes of GI sheets have been made available for erecting tents.
The Petroleum Ministry has provided additional 10000 kilolitres of Kerosene and will give LPG free to relief camps. The Union Home Secretary suggested that a representative from the Ministry of Petroleum should visit the affected areas to ensure that adequate supply of petro-products is available and loopholes if any, are plugged.
The Defence Ministry representative informed that they have so far conducted 600 sortis and distributed 2,000 metric tonnes of ration to the affected people. 5,000 of their personnel are deployed and 38 mobile medical teams are operating.
The Rural Development Ministry has allotted 58000 additional Indira Awas Yojana units to Bihar for flood-affected people. The Home Secretary suggested setting up of two task forces by the State government to assess and provide relief under the relaxed provisions of NREGA. One of these task forces should focus on rural roads to ensure early connectivity and the other on the issues related to employment, etc. NREGA norms have been relaxed and the work now can be assigned under NREGA even at the place of temporary stay. 2,000 kilometres of road have been taken up for upgradation in the affected areas.
The Home Secretary advised the Water Resources Ministry and the Bihar Government to expedite the plugging of the breached portion of the embankment on the Kosi river.
The Home Secretary felt that with the fire-fighting part of the crisis almost over, the focus now has to be on the rehabilitation and rebuilding process.