BHUBANESWAR: The Government on Tuesday decided to conduct a preparedness drill to warm up the cyclone response mechanism in the State.
Chief Secretary BK Patnaik, who reviewed the preparedness of different departments to meet exigencies arising out of the natural calamity striking the State like the 1999 super cyclone, asked the telecom operators to keep their telephone towers ready with generator sets for power back up to keep the communication network alive even after failure of electricity.
Districts collectors were asked to keep an inventory of boats, boatmen along with their contact numbers and contact points so that their services can be utilised as and when necessary. At least one should be kept ready for every two vulnerable villages.
For providing emergency shelter, 195 multi-purpose cyclone centres have been made functional along the coast lines and emergency equipment like generator, inflatable tower light, mechanised cutter, life boat, life jacket, ropes and pulley, extendable ladder and other life saving equipment have been provided to these centres.
Besides, 1,152 high school buildings and 8,990 primary school buildings constructed after super cyclone can also be utilised for emergency accommodation of evacuated people. In addition, 15 flood shelters have also been constructed out of Chief Ministes Relief Fund.
Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) units have been set up at Cuttack, Balasore, Jharsuguda, Koraput, Chhatrapur, Baripada, Rourkela, Balangir and Bhubaneswar. Modern search and rescue equipment have been provided to ODRAF units, the meeting was told.
It has been decided that BSNL will provide hot line connections to AIR, Doordashan, SRC office and OSDMA. Apart from BSNL, other mobile phone service providers will also be asked to disseminate cyclone warning through their systems.
Power distribution companies - CESU, Wesco, Nesco and Southco - were asked to keep the latest modern equipment ready for immediate restoration of power supply. Automatic rainfall reading stations have been installed in 177 out of 314 blocks. It has been decided to move the Centre for installation of such stations in rest of the blocks.
At present 37 automatic weather reading stations have been installed in different parts of the state. The proposal for installation of 40 more automatic weather reading stations was deliberated at the meeting.
Director of Metrological Centre here, Sarat Chandra Sahu, made a power point presentation on information about formation of cyclones, various stages of development of different types of cyclonic storms and their movements.
Revenue and Disaster management Secretary Taradatt, Home Secretary UN Behera, Special Relief Commissioner PK Mohapatra, Agriculture Secretary RL Jamuda and senior officials participated.