Surat floods commission gives clean chit to administration

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Gandhinagar, Sep, 29 (UNI) The Justice Sugnaben Bhatt Commission of Inquiry into the Surat floods of August, 2006 has given a clean chit to the state administration, in its report on the management of dams and factors leading to floods in Surat, tabled in the Gujarat Assembly today.

The commission has said the dam authorities had taken appropriate steps to safeguard the safety of the dam during the monsoon of 2006.

Gujarat government had appointed a two-member inquiry commission, headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Sugnaben Bhatt, to probe the reasons behind the Surat floods, which had caused widespread devastation in the diamond city in August, 2006. R D Soni, retired secretary of Narmada Department of the state government, was the second member of the Commission.

The commission has pointed out that management of the dam needs special attention and the government should reconsider its transfer policy in this regard. The commission has said ''the person who is in charge of management of the dam during the monsoon should be one who has successfully managed the crisis during monsoon.'' The report further says that even though administrative exigency may require the government to transfer a person at regular intervals, but the technical person of the important technical institution during the period of crisis should be one who has successfully managed the crisis. ''The reason being that the team which has successfully managed the crisis, has the feel of situation and can control the management for better'', it said.

The commission has also opined that for the management of a dam and similar institutions, no single person should be allowed with the decision making, which affects the safety of either the dam or institution.

It has recommended that a committee of experts should be available at the spot in time of crisis.

UNI HT OBB SY AS1802

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