Bhubaneswar: A high level meeting was held in the Secretariat today under the chairmanship of the Revenue & Disaster Management Minister, Sudam Marndi to review the status of relief and restoration in the cyclone (FANI) affected areas.
In energy sector, extensive damage had occurred to both electrical transmission and distribution infrastructure. For speedy restoration of power supply, manpower was mobilized from DISCOMs, Electrical Contractors, CPSUs like NTPC, PGCIL & NALCO, Corporate houses like Tata Power and L& T, State Power Companies from West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala & Karnataka. In the mean time, nearly 100% electricity restoration has been done in all the affected districts except Puri. In Puri district, electricity has been restored to nearly 3.00 Lakh out of 3.88 Lakh affected consumers. The balance restoration work is very likely to be completed in next 10 days, Energy Department Secretary, Hemant Sharma informed.
It was reported by the Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water Department and the Housing & Urban Development Department that water supply has been normalised in both rural and urban areas. Where electricity supply has not been restored, the pumps are being operated through generators. Additionally, water tankers and 7 mobile water treatment plants have been deployed for supply of portable drinking water in the affected areas. Electricity restoration had been done to 2523 out of 2886 affected drinking water sources and balance work would be done by 20th of this month. The Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water Department indicated that it was procuring 8 more mobile water treatment plants soon which would be very useful at the time disasters in future.
Repair of School Buildings
As many as 173 school buildings in Puri district and 11 in Khordha district have been fully damaged in the cyclone ‘FANI’. The Minister expressed his concern for running of these schools after reopening of the schools on 19th June after the summer vacation. Special Secretary, School & Mass Education Department indicated that since reconstruction school buildings would take some time, necessary alternative arrangements were being made for running of those schools in the nearby schools, other educational institutions, cyclone shelters and other Government buildings. He asked the concerned department maintaining the school buildings such as Works, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water and Housing & Urban Development Departments to take necessary steps for immediate repair/ restoration of the damaged school buildings in a time bound manner to facilitate running of the school.
Another major area where substantial damage has occurred due to cyclone ‘FANI’ is to the forest resources. Special Secretary, Forest & Environment Department indicated that the Department has planned for planting 1.05 crore trees this year. He also mentioned about the Department’s plan for taking up coastal shelter belt plantation in an area of 6000 hectares in next 5 years.
Restoration of Health Infrastructure
Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department indicated that as many as 1030 health institution buildings were damaged in the cyclone. Immediate repair has already been done to these damaged buildings.
Water Resources Department
The Chief Engineer, Flood Control & Basin Manager, Lower Mahanadi Basin, WR Department informed that mostly saline embankments and various buildings of WR Department were damaged due to the cyclone. In the mean time, all breaches occurred on saline embankments have been closed. Steps are being taken to complete the remaining damaged infrastructure.
The status of restoration in other sectors was also reviewed in the meeting. The Minister observed that the State should remain prepared to combat any disaster whether natural or manmade including industrial and chemical disasters. Whenever construction of any school or college or other Government building was taken up in cyclone prone areas, cyclone resilient design must be adopted for such construction. He also enquired about the functioning of the existing two Doppler Weather Radar Stations at Paradip and Gopalpur and directed to closely follow up with the Central Government for installation of Radars at the two stations Sambalpur and Balasore.