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Gandhinagar, Tuesday: Gujarat Chief Secretary A. K. Joti here today stressed on the need for prior planning to effectively tackle natural disasters like cyclones or floods.

Presiding over a high-level review meeting of senior officers of departments concerned on the status of preparedness, Mr. Joti said that preventive measures help rise to the occasion with better results. He asked each constituent to plan ahead for deployment of men and machinery at fragile zones.

The meeting was informed that the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA) is ready with disaster response network in the state. While the Revenue Department will start taluka level control rooms from June 1, 2011, the Water Resources and Health Department will also set up their own control rooms. The Water Resources Department keeps in touch with its counterpart in Maharashtra.

GSDMA Chief Executive Officer R. Bannerji in a PowerPoint Presentation gave details about the preparedness, including positioning of high capacity water pumps, tankers, emergency rescue vehicles and other machinery, in Municipal Corporations as well as in Municipalities.

Indian Meteorological Department-Ahmedabad unit informed that it is likely to be a year of normal monsoon. Although the country's eastern coast is more cyclone-prone, Gujarat is also ready in case of any eventuality. An approaching danger is informed to stakeholders through bulk short messaging system.

The meeting also took note of assessment of water level at major dams, de-silting storm water drains, uninterrupted power supply at hospitals, keeping uniformed men standby, maintaining adequate supply of food and medicines, besides alerting the official and other information dissemination system.

Those present at the meeting included Additional Chief Secretaries Balwant Singh and B.K. Sinha, Principal Secretaries R.M. Patel and P. Paneervel, Relief Commissioner Poonamchand Parmar, Information Commissioner V. Thiruppugazh and Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Pradeep Khanna, among others.

Gujarat Information Bureau

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