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GCC releases plan to prepare for, prevent natural disasters

With the northeast monsoon approaching, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) released City Disaster Management Perspective Plan 2021 on Wednesday. The plan envisages preparedness and prevention of natural disasters like floods, tsunami, cyclones, and earthquakes

GCC releases plan to prepare for, prevent natural disasters
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One of the missions of the plan is to identify vulnerability of different parts of the city to disasters and specify minimum standard measures to be adopted for prevention and mitigation of disasters.

According to the Disaster Management Perspective Plan 2021, the Chennai Corporation has formed a relief committee with the Commissioner of the civic body as chairman and Chennai Collector, Metrowater executive director, joint commissioner of police (Traffic), chief engineers of highways and rural works, and public works department as members.

The duties of the committee are to evict encroachments on a regular basis to maintain the free flow of rainwater as well as to identify vulnerable roads, subways and level crossings within the Corporation limit that are likely to get inundated during the heavy rain periods apart from others.

The document, which is available on the Corporation’s official website, identifies 306 chronic inundation locations—37 of them with very high vulnerability and 84 with high vulnerability. The number of chronic inundation locations came down to 23 in 2020—all of them have been clarified as low vulnerable spots now.

“Chennai is the only drainage basin for all the water bodies located in two adjoining districts around Chennai. Over the years, the water bodies have shrunk due to various reasons in Chennai Metropolitan Area. Furthermore, rapid urbanisation and industrialisation have led to large-scale encroachment in the water bodies,” the plan pointed out.

The City Disaster Management Perspective Plan 2021 proposes to involve the private sector to strengthen disaster-resilient investments through structural, non-structural and functional disaster risk prevention and reduction measures in vulnerable areas. “The GCC has been working with the private sector to restore water bodies. The GCC has signed MoUs with various NGOs and the private sector,” the document stated.

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