CM Naveen reviews natural disaster preparedness

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today directed the State machinery to remain alert and prepared to tackle any natural disaster which may arise with the onset of monsoon in the State.

With an aim to assess the preparedness in tackling flood and other natural disasters, CM Naveen today chaired a State-level Natural Calamity Committee Meeting at the State Secretariat here which was attended by ministers of different departments, senior legislators from the ruling party and Opposition, Chief Secretary, other officers of various departments and IMD Regional Centre Director HR Biswas.

“In view of the IMD prediction of a normal monsoon this year, chances of flooding would also be there. Enhanced preparedness has to be ensured at all levels to meet any eventuality. At the same time, the state has to remain fully prepared for any drought situation,” Patnaik said during the meeting.

The CM has asked the Water Resources department to repair breaches on river embankments and also directed the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and Fire Services department to stay alert with all their machinery for rescue and relief operations during any exigency.

Patnaik also stressed on pre-positioning of adequate food materials by Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department in flood prone areas.

Apart from asking the Rural Development and Housing and Urban Development Departments to make necessary prior arrangements for the supply of safe drinking water in the flood & drought-prone areas, Patnaik also directed the Health and Family Welfare Department to take care of health and hygiene in the concerned areas, to prevent outbreak of any epidemic during natural disasters.

The Chief Minister also unveiled a Flood Hazard Atlas of the State during the meeting and said, “This atlas will help identify the disaster prone areas of the state so that necessary plans can be made to tackle the situation ahead of any emergency.”

The flood hazard atlas has been prepared under the joint collaboration of National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad and Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) based on the data of flooding incidents in the State between 2000 and 2018.

(With agency inputs)