200 more cyclone shelters coming up in state

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Monday said at least 200 more multi-purpose cyclone centres were being constructed at different cyclone prone areas as the state was highly vulnerable to the natural calamities.

"At least 149 multi-purpose cyclone shelters under National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) and 14 such shelters under Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) are being constructed," said Revenue and Disaster Management minister S N Patro.

Patro said this while the state observed Odisha Disaster Preparedness Day and National Day for Disaster Reduction here on Monday remembering the super-cyclone of 1999 in which about 10,000 people were killed.

This apart, the minister said the government has also sanctioned funds for construction of 38 more flood shelters at strategic locations of the state. The state already had 180 multi-purpose cyclone shelters and flood shelters.

The government was giving priority to construction of such shelters as it realised that lives of a large number of people could have been saved if the state had adequate number of shelters, the minister said.

The minister said the state government was improving its disaster management infrastructures. "Now we have 10 units of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) trained in search and rescue techniques and equipped with modern machinery," the minister said.

Government is also training the communities to help themselves during disasters, he said adding special provisions were being made for disabled, pregnant women at the shelters.

However, despite the improved preparedness and response standards, disaster remained a challenge for the state, he said.