With the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting heavy rainfall in the next three days, K.T. Rama Rao, municipal administration and urban development (MA&UD) minister, has said 80 special officers have been deployed in the GHMC limits and adjoining municipalities for taking up rescue and relief measures.
He said that all other official operations have been suspended and the GHMC will focus only on pre-disaster, disaster and relief and rehabilitation measures.
Eighty colonies and 54 apartment complexes are still inundated, and 164 electric transformers are yet to be fixed. The southern part of the city, especially Charminar and LB Nagar zones are the worst-affected.
In view of the IMD’s rain warning, the government is on high alert, and has alerted the Army and National Disaster Response Force to be on standby.
The minister said that the state government had spent over Rs 60 crore so far and another Rs 670 crore will be spent for relief and rescue. This is only a preliminary estimation of the losses and it is expected to increase further.
Rama Rao said the state government has submitted a preliminary estimate of loss suffered due to heavy rains in the GHMC area and in the rest of Telangana state to the Centre. He sought an immediate assistance of Rs 1,350 crore from the Centre.
Speaking to the media, Rama Rao, who has toured the flood-hit areas of the city over the past week, said that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao had specifically instructed that action be taken to prevent loss of life first, as property damage could be recovered or compensated.
Criticising the false propaganda against the government, he said that till date, 33 persons have lost their lives due to heavy rains in the GHMC area and neighbouring municipalities. Among these, he said, an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each has been presented to 29 families. Three people are still missing.
"Those staying in the first and second floors should shift to relief camps immediately and not to put their lives at risk. The officials will provide food, drinking water, toilets, medical camps and masks at rehabilitation centres," he said and added that the government will also facilitate Covid-19 tests in the relief camps.
Commenting on encroachments, Rao said the government has all the relevant reports and satellite photos. He said, the present focus is on rescuing people. The government will discuss encroachments later and as such issues cannot be addressed overnight.
Meanwhile, nodal officers, including deputy commissioners, electricity officials, the GHMC’s Disaster Response Force, and sanitation staff will be monitoring relief measures for the next 15 days. Rao said that with only 18 at their disposal, the corporation is falling short of rescue boats and had asked Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to send around 30 boats.
He thanked Tamil Nadu government for extending Rs 10 crore financial aid, besides supplying blankets to Telangana state....