Bhubaneswar: Making a two-day visit to Odisha today, the team from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) began its field visit soon after a meeting with the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) and was of high praise for the disaster preparedness made by the State Government.
Talking to media, NDMA Member Kamal Kishor said, “Odisha’s cyclone preparedness has been a special talk as well as applauded not only in the country, but also globally. Now we have to see what to be done ahead for reconstruction and recovery.”
“We watched today the extent of damage. Now we will make field visit and find out the damages and the pending works in the districts. It was an enormous cyclone that caused great damages to energy transmission, telecommunications and housing. Restoration and recovery works are still on. We’ll meet the district administrations and take stock of the situation,” he informed.
Odisha Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi said, “NDMA Member Shri Kamal Kishore, Secretary Dr Pradip Kumar, Joint Secretary, NDMA Dr Tirupada and their consultant will tour Odisha for two days. Today they reviewed our preparatory steps taken during FANI Cyclone and in the aftermath. After the two-day field visit, the team will discuss with the Chief Secretary and other Secretaries of the concerned departments on June 13. Also they will put forth their suggestions.”
He added, “A report has also been submitted with the team. Before the final report, the special MHA team will also be visiting our State. As per their recommendation, we’ll be receiving the financial assistance from the Centre which we are waiting for.”
He informed, “This NDMA team today basically discussed on the long term disaster resilience subject. For instance, how to get rid of large hoardings displayed in the urban local bodies. The houses constructed in the coastal areas under various schemes. They opined that the fund allocated at present to the schemes of housing is insufficient. When there is cyclone or any disaster, power infrastructure is being damaged. Hence, underground cabling is the need of the hour in the various coastal towns like Puri, Berhampur, Balasore, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, etc. All the infrastructures need to be cyclone resilient.”
“After the visit of the Central Team, we expect more funds to Odisha from the NDRF. Yesterday, we have allocated Rs 200 crore to the Puri Collector. It will be presented to the affected people as the first installment so that they could repair their damaged houses. We have also allocated funds to the Panchayati Raj Department for repair of damaged school buildings. We have also ordered them to repair the school buildings from the funds already available with them,” the SRC informed further.
In his media reactions, on the other hand, at State Secretariat, Odisha Revenue & Disaster Management Minister Sudam Maradi said, “Our demands have already been placed by our Chief Minister. We are also working on war-footing. Tomorrow also at 4 pm, I am going to chair a meeting with the Secretaries of all FANI-related departments.”
“FANI concerned activities are on full swing. Whatever further assessments from the ground level will come forth, we’ll be taking up. We have issued instructions to the district administrations of the places of severe damages caused, like Puri, Khurda and Jagatsinghpur, to re-send assessments. I’m looking into FANI matters very seriously. Also our Chief Minister is looking after it very seriously,” quipped the Minister.