(Eds: Adds CM's quotes) Chennai, Oct 12 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Monday reviewed the government's preparations ahead of the northeast monsoon in the state and said it was fully geared to ensure the safety of the people.
He issued a series of directives to officials on the measures to be taken during the northeast monsoon, which brings the bulk of the annual rainfall to the state.
The monsoon is expected to set in by the third week of October, an official release here said.
In the review meeting, attended by deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and Chief Secretary K Shanmugam among others, Palaniswami directed officials to ensure adequate stocks of medicines in public and private hospitals.
'During (any) disaster time, fair price shops should have two months' stocks of essential commodities,' the release quoted the chief minister as telling the officials.
IAS officers designated with overseeing rain-related preparations should monitor the situation in their respective districts, including the state capital, Palaniswami said.
Mock drills with COVID-19 protocol of social distancing should also be held.
Detailing the various steps taken by the government ahead of the northeast monsoon, which stretches till December end, the release said over 4,100 vulnerable areas have already been identified and multi-department zonal-level teams formed to handle any eventuality.
Nearly 43,500 first responders, including 14,232 women, trained responders to remove fallen trees and rescue cattle were on standby, the release said.
Various facilities, including marriage halls, have been identified to accommodate people if required, it said.
Various water rejuvenation initiatives that have been implemented would help save about 2.55 tmcft (thousand million cubic ft) of water during the monsoon, the release added.
In his address at the meeting, Palaniswami said Tamil Nadu received good rains during the southwest monsoon, leading to an increase in ground-water table in most districts and benefiting farmers.
He said the government was prepared to take care of people during heavy downpours or if there was a cyclone. PTI SA SS VS VS