Caution sign boards to avert drowning accidents

IG issues directive to all police stations in central zone

In an effort to check incidents of drowning, police in central zone have begun a drive to install caution boards near dangerous/vulnerable spots along rivers and water bodies with the support of Revenue and Public Works Departments.

In a direction to all police stations in Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Karur, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Pudukottai, Tiruvarur, Mayiladuthurai and Nagapattinam, V. Balakrishnan, Inspector General of Police, Central Zone, said several areas in the zone had received considerable rainfall over the last few days. It had led to rise in water level as well as flow into rivers in the region.

Several ponds had also received water, posing danger to bathers, mainly youth and children. Also, the northeast monsoon was about to start in a couple of weeks.

Hence, station heads should immediately identify dangerous spots along the Cauvery river, its subsidiaries and branch canals, the Kollidam river and water bodies such as tanks, lakes and ponds.

By seeking the cooperation of Revenue and Public Works Departments, police should install caution boards asking people refrain from taking bath near the dangerous spots.

Mr. Balakrishnan said 268 spots had been identified as ‘vulnerable’ in different districts of central zone. Caution boards had been erected at 110 spots so far. The sigh boards would be installed at the other places soon. Police could utilise the services of volunteers in the drive intended to sensitise people to exercise caution while venturing into the rivers and water bodies.

The Inspector General of Police said Superintendents of Police had been asked to deploy teams to patrol along the river banks to educate the vulnerable groups in the mornings and evenings.

A 10-member team of police personnel, who had received training on disaster management, would be stationed at the district headquarters to be pressed into service, if needed, to rescue those caught in the water.

According to police, 235 persons had drowned in 225 incidents in central zone so far in 2021. Thanjavur district topped the list with 51 deaths followed by 43 in Tiruchi. While Pudukkotai accounted for 30 casualties, Karur had recorded 27 victims succumbing to 23 drowning incidents. The number was 24 in Perambulur and Ariyalur districts each. While 10 victims died in Tiruvarur district, undivided Nagapattinam district registered 26 deaths.

Mr. Balakrishnan said that 39 drowning spots had been identified in Tiruchi district based on the past incidents. Caution boards had been installed in all the spots. There were 32 vulnerable spots in Thanjavur and 43 in Tiruvarur. It was 62 in Ariyalur, 20 in Mayiladuthurai, 14 in Nagapattinam. Pudukottai, Perambalur and Karur had 10, 23 and 23 vulnerable spots respectively.

All spots, which had been identified as vulnerable for drowning, would have caution sign boards shortly, he added.

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