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Odisha to strengthen disaster management system with modern equipment

Bhubaneswar: To strengthen the disaster management capacity, Odisha Government has decided to include modern equipment and give training to the frontline units.

This was decided in the State Executive Committee meeting held under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra.

Considering the changing climatic scenario, the committee decided to further strengthen the disaster management capacity of the State with the latest modern equipment and intensive training to the front line organizations like ODRAF and Fire Service Units.

Mahapatra directed Housing and Urban Development department to remove the encroachments on drains and keep those properly widened and linked for smooth passage of rain or stormwater. He also directed to enhance the in-house capacity for instant urban flood management.

It was decided to have more modern relief and rescue equipment including the support for drinking water supply and water evacuation during the disasters.

Further, he directed to build of more flood shelters in flood-prone areas.

The department was asked to identify the flood-prone villages having insufficient flood or cyclone shelters so that people could be housed there during natural calamities.

It has also been decided to strengthen and heighten the flood embankments in vulnerable areas like Bari, Dhamnagar, Gop, and other riverside villages as a permanent measure.

After a discussion, it has been estimated that around Rs. 400 cr would be invested in strengthening the disaster management system and empowering the front-line organs engaged in mitigating the impact of the disasters.

Development Commissioner PK Jena asked the departments to submit utilization certificates against the SRC grants already released to them for relief, repair, restoration, and distribution of various assistance to the people.

The proposal for Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA ) was discussed in the meeting. It was decided that a quick PDNA against the last heavy rain and flood would be conducted. After a proper assessment of the needs, additional support would be mobilized for long-term recovery, reconstruction, and future damage reduction.

SRC Jena appraised that the PDNA would be conducted in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority and the National Institute of Disaster Management. The sectors like housing and resettlement, protection of civic amenities including the health and educational infra, drinking water, and local critical infrastructure needs like roads, and bridges among others would be the principal themes for PDNA. Chief Secretary Mahapatra directed to complete PDNA in about a month.

Director General of Police Sunil Bansal, Additional Chief Secretary Water Resources Anu Garg, Additional Chief Secretary Home Sanjeev Chopra, Additional Chief Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management Satyabrata Sahu, Principal Secretary Finance Vishal Kumar Dev, Principal Secretary Rural Development and Information and Public Relations Sanjay Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Sushil Kumar Lohani along with senior officers of concerned departments participated in the meeting.

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