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CDRI and Odisha Govt Unveil Report on Disaster Resilient Power Systems

Bhubaneswar: The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and the Government of Odisha have jointly launched a landmark report titled ‘Disaster Resilient Power Systems for Odisha’. The report provides critical recommendations aimed at improving investments, risk-informed governance, and capacity building to enhance disaster resilience in Odisha’s power sector.

The coastal regions of Odisha are frequently affected by heavy rains, flooding, and severe waterlogging, which disrupt the functioning of critical power infrastructure. These disruptions lead to high maintenance costs, asset loss, socio-economic losses, impaired emergency services, and delayed disaster response. The newly launched report lays out a methodology for bolstering power sector resilience in areas prone to cyclones, hurricanes, and floods.

Key recommendations from the report include enhancing building codes and standards for wind zones, integrating risk assessments into financial planning, incorporating resilience into policy frameworks, and initiating comprehensive training and capacity-building programs.

At the launch event, Pradeep Kumar Jena, Chief Secretary of Odisha, shared his insights on combating cyclones and the challenges of infrastructure restoration. He emphasized the importance of learning from past experiences to make power infrastructure disaster-proof and urged officials to prioritize infrastructure resilience. “This small beginning by CDRI will help other coastal states in India and many countries to come up with disaster-resilient power infrastructure,” he concluded.

Anu Garg, Development Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Water Resources and Planning & Convergence, highlighted the need for integrated disaster preparedness across all state departments, not just the Energy Department.

Shashank Mishra, Joint Secretary of Distribution and Reform Utility at the Ministry of Power, praised CDRI’s efforts in spotlighting critical issues and expressed the Ministry’s readiness to engage in brainstorming sessions with various stakeholders to advance the recommendations.

Dr. Krishna S. Vatsa, Member of the National Disaster Management Authority, commended the study for its profound insights on resilience building and improving power systems. He emphasized CDRI’s role as a multilateral institution and the potential for the study to contribute to national standards.

Hemant Sharma, Principal Secretary of the Industries Department, noted the universal relevance of disaster resilience in power systems, stressing that the report’s recommendations should be implemented across various regions, not just in Odisha.

Vishal K. Dev, Principal Secretary of the Finance & Energy Department, reaffirmed the Odisha Government’s commitment to climate-proofing power infrastructure, aiming to create a sustainable and resilient future.

Amit Prothi, Director General of CDRI, underscored the importance of power sector resilience in protecting lives and livelihoods in vulnerable regions. He suggested that the recommendations from the study could be replicated in other coastal regions to ensure disaster-resilient power infrastructure.

The report is the outcome of an extensive study by CDRI, in collaboration with the Government of Odisha, GRIDCO Limited, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL), and various Distribution Companies (TPNODL, TPSODL, TPCODL & TPWODL), along with the Department of Energy, Government of Odisha.

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