In the wake of a forecast of heavy rains for the city, Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao has requested the residents in low-lying areas to shift to relief camps and asked public representatives, NGOs and others to join the government machinery in taking up relief measures.

Residents in such areas, including those staying in the first and second floors, should move into relief camps immediately and not put their lives at risk, he said, asking the public to cooperate with GHMC officials in relief works.

“Food, blankets, toilets, medicines, everything is arranged at the relief camps, including masks and corona tests for the needy. Nearly 18,700 Chief Minister Ration Kits have already been distributed to the residents in rain-affected areas, he said, adding that the services of JNTU, IIT, IIIT-Hyderabad and ASCI were being utilised to identify old and dilapidated structures and shift residents to safer places.

Already, 59 old structures were demolished since last week. At a few places, residents were refusing to vacate, citing court orders, and were being evacuated forcibly by the municipal corporation as a precautionary measure.

“If required, the Army has been asked to be ready for taking up relief measures. The NDRF also has been urged to keep helicopters on standby for any rescue operations,” Rao said.

In tune with relief measures, focus was on restoration, health and sanitation works as well. The State government has already spent over Rs 60 crore and another Rs 670 crore would be spent on relief and rescue measures, the Minister said, adding that this was a preliminary estimation of losses and the same was expected to increase. The State government had on October 15 submitted a detailed report seeking Rs 1,350 crore under preliminary and immediate support, but there was no response from the Centre yet, the Minister said.

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