Heavy Rains from May 19, Fishing Ban from June 1
Mangaluru: The district administration held a pre-monsoon readiness meeting at the DC Office here, on May 17.
Commenting on the unpreparedness of the Tahsildars (particularly the one from Sullia) at the meeting, the DC said that all Tahsildars should be prepared for the meetings with a complete report. “Tahsildars cannot evade responsibility. They need to work properly. All concerned officers should be present at their respective sites during any event.”
Speaking on the steps for monsoon readiness, he said that vulnerable areas should be identified and monitored closely. “Taluk level drills must be conducted, emergency task force and coordination committees should be prepared for the coming rains. We should not be taken by surprise by the rains or drought next time.”
Weather officials stated that though the monsoons have been delayed by a week, the district will experience heavy rainfall between 19 and 23 May. Fire officials reported that equipment like life buoys, life jackets, etc. have been distributed to various sites in all taluks. Rapid response teams have been deployed by the Homeguards and will be available for the next three months, said the representing official. He also demanded more boats for the rescue teams.
DHO Dr Ramakrishna said that the Health Department has formed rapid response teams, stationed medical officers at various levels and has planned to check for contamination of water sources. “Last year, we had dengue and malaria cases after the monsoons started. But this year, we have already received 74 confirmed cases even before the rains. We are using vector control, but we still need source reduction to significantly prevent the spread of these diseases.” The DC advised the Health Department to organize an awareness drive next week in this regard.
Coastguard official urged the Fisheries Department to direct the fishermen to fish in groups and report the area in which they will be fishing with specific coordinates. “The monsoon affects fishing boats badly. All fishing boats must be given a complete check for seaworthiness before fishing and should use VHF channel 16 for distress purposes. Merchant vessels use the same channel and if they are in the area, they are bound to help.”
He also advised that a GPS system should be placed in the boats so that in the case of trouble the latitude and longitude of the boat can be given and rescue teams can reach the fishermen in time. Most of the time, the coastguards are not able to locate where the boats are. The fishermen do not provide specific coordinates and this causes difficulty in pinpointing their location.
He urged the Fisheries Department to educate the fishermen on how to use and read such essential devices as it is a matter of life and death. He also pointed out that most boats do not have the adequate amount of life jackets and there are more crew than advisable. There are also a disproportionate amount of lifeguards at beaches compared to the number of people that visit them. Some medical features like first aid kits, etc. also need to be present.
The Fisheries Department reported that a ban on fishing would be in effect from 1st June to 31st July. The meeting also covered sea erosion, vehicular movement and the status of various control rooms.
Emergency toll free numbers are: Coastguard – 1554, Coastal Security Beat (CSB) – 1093, MCC Control Room – 2220306, MESCOM – 1912.