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Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday directed the Additional Chief Secretary Water Resources to initiate the cleaning and flood protection works at the vulnerable sites across the state well before the onset of monsoon.

Chairing a meeting to review the overall irrigation and drainage system of the state especially the river Ghaggar and its tributaries here at CMR this morning, Bhagwant Mann asked the Chief Engineer Drainage to positively start the cleaning of waterways beneath the bridges and removing the silt lumps from the waterways besides strengthening the weak points prone to frequent flooding due to heavy rains especially along river Ghaggar. Meanwhile, the Chief Engineer Drainage apprised Bhagwant Mann that a sum of Rs.67 lakhs has already been sanctioned for this project.

Pointing out further, the Chief Minister asked the ACS Water Resources to complete the flood protection works on the war footing well in advance before the start of ensuing monsoon season so as to protect the people from the fury of floods. He also categorically asked him to regularly oversee the flood protection works being undertaken in close coordination with the Deputy Commissioner across the state.

Showing concern over the colossal loss caused to the human lives, livestock, property and standing crops due to floods, the Chief Minister directed the Department to take all possible steps to ensure that there is no recurrence of floods like those witnessed during recent past in the state. He underlined the importance of timely completion of all necessary works, as well as a robust system of advance warnings.

The Chief Minister further directed ACS Water Resources to identify sites for developing waterfront so as to optimally tap the tourism potential with focus on developing water sports. He further asked the Forest department to explore maximum opportunities for promotion of eco-tourism.

Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting included Additional Chief Secretary to CM A. Venu Prasad, ACS Water Resources Sarvjit Singh, Special Principal Secretary to CM KK Yadav and Chief Engineer Drainage Devinder Singh.

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