Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Wednesday reviewed the preparedness of Central Ministries and agencies, and state governments to deal with the situation arising out of the impending cyclone in the Bay of Bengal at a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC).
Gauba stressed that all preventive and precautionary measures should be taken by the agencies concerned of both the Centre and the states before the cyclonic storm makes landfall, so as to avoid any loss of life and minimise damages to property, infrastructure, and crops.
He emphasised that state governments should make all efforts to ensure that fishermen and all vessels at sea are called back immediately and people in areas likely to be affected by the cyclonic storm are evacuated at the earliest, while assuring the states that all Central agencies are ready and will be available for assistance.
During the review meeting, the Director General, India Meteorological Department, briefed the Committee about the current status of a low pressure area in the Bay of Bengal, which is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm by December 3.
He said that the impending cyclone is expected to cross the coasts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha by the morning of December 4, with wind speeds ranging from 90 kmph to 100 kmph, accompanied by heavy rainfall and tidal waves in the coastal districts of these states.
It is likely to affect the districts of Srikakulam, Vishakhapatanam and Vijayanagaram in Andhra Pradesh and coastal districts of Odisha. It is also likely to bring heavy to very heavy rainfall in the coastal areas and Gangetic parts of West Bengal.
The Chief Secretaries and senior officers from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, and Andaman & Nicobar apprised the Committee of the preparatory measures being undertaken to protect the population in the expected path of the cyclonic storm as also measures being taken to ensure that there is minimal damage to infrastructure in the aftermath of the storm.
The Committee was informed that the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 32 teams in these states and additional teams are also being kept in readiness. Rescue and relief teams of the Army and Navy along with ships and aircrafts are ready for deployment if required, a Home Ministry official said.
Secretaries of Ministries of Home, Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Department of Fisheries, Telecommunications and senior officials from the Ministries of Power, and Petroleum & Natural Gas, the Director General of NDRF, the IDS chief of staff, and the NDMA also attended the meeting.