Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: With cyclone Amphan expected to cause extensive damage to electricity and telecommunication network in Odisha and West Bengal, massive arrangements for restoration of these essential services post-cyclone have been made.

“As telecom cables, antennas and towers get damaged during cyclone, a disaster preparedness plan has been operationalised after discussion with all telecom operators of affected districts in both states,” informed Telecom Secretary, Anshu Prakash.

He said intra-circle roaming will be made operational after the passing of cyclone Amphan and subscribers will be able to latch on to the network of other available telecom operators, if the services of operator they are using get disrupted.

“Special focus will be laid on base station controllers and mobile switching centres, since damage to these will affect many telecom towers. Similarly, broadband connections to authorities will be restored on priority to facilitate functioning of relief teams,” he said.

“Telecom operators have been told to station generator sets along with diesel, so that telecom towers where power gets disrupted can be restored. Besides, spare parts, optical fibre cables will be kept in adequate quantities along with fault repair teams to do prompt repair,” the Telecom secretary added.

He said arrangements have been made to keep citizens in affected districts alerted regarding evacuation, through free SMS alerts in local language. The State government will decide about the frequency and modality of messaging services.

Similarly, in order to handle disruption in power supply, the Ministry of Power has deployed adequate emergency restoration system in Odisha and West Bengal.

Briefing media about the preparedness, additional secretary of Ministry of Power said transmission lines and sub stations situated in high impact areas of Amphan have been identified and placed on high alert. Two high voltage 400 KV substations at Baripada and Pundibari have been put on high alert.

“Based on the probable path of cyclone and GIS mapping, 24/7 control room have been made operational in Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Power Grid headquarters. For restoration of transmission lines and transmission towers, we have ensured enough stock of necessary spares, transmission lines, control systems, DG sets and transformer coils,” he said.

“The power department officials are in regular contact with state energy departments. We will provide logistics and other support to state power utilities,” he added.

(Edited by Bikram Jena)