Cyclone Fani aftermath: Relief & restoration underway in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: A day after extremely severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ pummelled the entire coastline of Odisha causing extensive damages in several districts after making landfall near Puri, relief and restoration process to bring back life to normalcy has been undertaken on a war footing.

According to sources, relief works and restoration of electricity, water supply, roadways and telecommunication infrastructure in cyclone affected areas of Puri, Khurda, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur and Balasore districts which sustained maximum damage are being directly undertaken by officials of concerned departments and NDRF, ODRAF and Fire Services personnel.

NDRF DG Satyanarayan Pradhan informed that it is likely to take two to three days before situation is normalised. To expedite the restoration process, high tech equipments are also being roped in from nearby Andhra Pradesh.

As the cyclone knocked out power, more than 30 lakh electricity consumers have plunged into darkness in almost all cyclone-affected areas. Briefing about the situation, Odisha Energy Secretary Hemant Sharma said, “Power distribution infrastructure has entirely collapsed in the cyclone. As many as 10,000 poles have been damaged in Bhubaneswar alone.”

On restoration work, Sharma said “Restoration works to bring normalcy has been undertaken on a war footing. Electricity supply will resume in Balasore, Bhadrak, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj today while some parts of the State capital will also be provided with power supply today.”

Sharma, however ruled out any chances of quick power supply restoration in Puri town. The government has targeted to restore electricity connection for 10 lakh consumers till tomorrow, he added.

The Energy department has already engaged two thousand people to restore the power supply. Keeping in view the damages, the department is likely to engage three thousand more people for restoration work.

Odisha Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said both high transmission and low transmission lines have been badly affected. “Water supply will be provided with the help of generator sets in the affected areas.”

Meanwhile, apart from downing of electricity, outage of telecommunication lines has worsened the condition of people in the Twin Cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

BSNL General Manager Prashant Kumar said, “As mobile towers have been damaged in the city we are taking all possible steps to restore the service. In a day or two, the situation of major network will be normal. Though landlines are functional, there are disruptions at some places.”