Bhubaneswar: A possibility of heavy rain Wednesday has threatened to mar the celebration of the Independence Day in the state with the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) predicting heavy showers.
Director of Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre HR Biswas said heavy to very heavy rainfall will occur at a few places with extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places in Puri, Khurda, Gajapati, Ganjam, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Dhenkanal , Sambalpur, Boudh and Kandhamal districts during the next 24 hours. Rest of the state will also likely receive heavy rainfall at one or two places over next 48 hours, Biswas said. However, the rainfall in coastal Odisha will come down Thursday.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the situation and directed concerned officials to ensure adequate measures are put in places, especially where Independence Day parades will be held. Naveen has asked District Collectors to stay prepared to tackle any eventuality arising out of the heavy downpour.
“The District Collectors have been asked to stay alert and decide whether to declare a government holiday tomorrow or not,” Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi told reporters after the meeting. He said all major rivers in the state are flowing below the danger mark.
After the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) has cancelled the holidays of its employees. The CMC has asked all field officials, nodal officers and other employees to be present in office Wednesday to address any problem likely to be faced by the people due to heavy rain, sources said.
Between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm Tuesday, the highest 103 mm of rainfall was recorded at Bhawanipatna, followed by 42 mm at Koraput, 25 mm at Balasore, 23 mm at Puri, 20 mm at Sonepur, 19 mm at Keonjhar and 17 mm at Phulbani.
Kids to be kept out of parades
The state government has decided not to allow students to participate in Independence Day parades to be held Wednesday across the state. Special secretary (home) Santosh Bala has written to Revenue Divisional Commissioners (RDCs) and District Collectors in this regard. “In view of the heavy rain forecast by the IMD, it is desired that during the observation of the Independence Day, ceremonial parades in Bhubaneswar and in district and sub-divisional headquarters including other official parades elsewhere be restricted to the police and para-military contingents only,” Bala said in her letter. The parades may not consist of children in view of the adverse weather condition, she said, adding, cultural and sports activities may also be avoided.