Noting that the period between June and October is crucial for Odisha in terms of natural calamities, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Friday asked the state administration to follow the state’s policy of ‘every life is precious’ while dealing with all possible disasters.
Patnaik said this ‘every life is precious’ policy has made Odisha a leading state in the field of disaster management and risk reduction. The coastal state has emerged as a pioneer in managing disasters, especially cyclones, by reducing human loss during calamities.
In April 2018, Odisha become the first Indian state to have an early warning system in place for natural disasters such as cyclones and tsunamis for people living along its 480 km-long coast.
Natural disasters like floods, cyclones, and droughts occur in the June-October period every year, and therefore the state administration must strengthen its preparedness to handle such calamities, the Chief Minister said.
Patnaik issued the directions while presiding over the state-level Natural Disaster Management Committee Meeting here. The entire administrative machinery, Patnaik said, should be ready with early information dissemination systems, rescue, and relief arrangements, drinking water supply systems, and health and animal care.
It is also essential that the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and Fire Services personnel remain prepared. The chief minister said officials must ensure the availability of enough food stocks in disaster-prone and remote areas, 24-hour functioning of district-level emergency centres, and opening of veterinary camps.
Special attention should be given to pregnant women, people with physical and mental disabilities, children, widows, and the elderly, he said. Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Pramila Mallick briefed the meeting on the state’s preparedness before the onset of the monsoon.
The state has 879 cyclone and flood shelters while another 55 such centres are being constructed with funding from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF), Mallick said.
The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) had praised the chief minister for saving lives during Cyclone Yaas last year. Only three people had died in the cyclone. The UN had earlier praised the CM’s command strategy of disaster management during Cyclone Phailin in 2013.
(With PTI inputs)