**Bhubaneswar:** Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday dedicated 100 more newly-built multipurpose flood and cyclone shelters for 17 districts in the state at a state level inaugural function held here in the State Secretariat.
Earlier on March 5 Panchayati Raj Divas, the Chief Minister had also inaugurated such shelters for the state’s people.
Out of the 100 new shelters dedicated today for 17 districts, 12 are in Balasore district, 10 in Bhadrak, 1 in Bargarh, 2 in Boudh, 3 in Cuttack, 16 in Ganjam, 2 in Jagatsinghpur, 2 in Jajpur, 1 in Kalahandi, 10 in Kendrapada, 3 in Keonjhar, 12 in Khurda, 3 in Malkangiri, 1 in Mayurbhanj, 1 in Nayagarh, 20 in Puri and 1 in Subarnapur.
“Odisha is a model state in the entire country so far as the disaster management is concerned. Our capacity has been strengthened with modern technology,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.
Disaster Management Minister Bijayshree Routray said, “Very soon 879 multipurpose flood and cyclone shelters will be completed in Odisha and the people will reap the benefits”.
Notably, Odisha is prone to natural calamities. Flood and cyclone cause heavy loss to life and property of the people of Odisha. The death toll of Super Cyclone of 1999 was around 10,000.
Taking it seriously into view, the 480-km-long Odisha coastline from Balasore to Ganjam will be fitted with Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) that would pass on warning of imminent cyclone or Tsunami well in advance so that the people of entire coastline would be alerted.
Briefing on it, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra told media, “Odisha will be the first ever state in India to have such an advance cyclone and Tsunami warning system”.
Elaborating on it the SRC said, “While the Rs 66-crore-cost project has been fully funded by the World Bank (WB), its tender has been finalised and L & T Infotech Company has been entrusted with the job. Work on it has already started. The 480-km-long Odisha coastline from Balasore to Ganjam will be fitted with 122 towers. Each tower can withstand 350 km wind speed and each to be fitted with a siren. The entire control centre will be at the SRC office here named as State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC). In case of advance warning received, an alarm button will be pressed from SEOC to warn the entire coastline people against the imminent danger”.
As per the work order given to L & T Infotech Company, it has to execute it within 9 months, but has been asked to expedite and finish within 4 months, the SRC added.
“The bottleneck is most of the equipments of EWDS are imported ones, but the company has been asked to get them imported and fitted soon as it is being mulled to get it inaugurated by the Chief Minister on October 28,” the SRC informed.
EWDS is to be facilitated also in 22 blocks in coastal Odisha mostly in the coastal districts of Balasore, Kendrapada, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Puri and Ganjam centrally control by the SEOC, he quipped.