VIJAYAWADA: Taking stock of the situation in the southern coastal districts in the wake of reports that another severe cyclone — Gaja — is barreling towards the coast and is likely to make landfall in the Southern parts of Tamil Nadu on November 15, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday directed the district collectors of all coastal districts to be on alert.
In a teleconference with the officials of various departments, the Chief Minister stressed the need for keeping track of the cyclone on a real-time basis and advised the fishermen not to venture into the sea. “We were able to track the course of cyclone Titli and predict its landfall. We should be prepared to face any eventuality,” Naidu said and advised the officials only to respond to reliable information and not let the people get anxious and concerned.
Meanwhile, taking stock of the situation with regard to power connectivity in cyclone-devastated Srikakulam, Energy Minister K Kala Venkata Rao observed that preparation is the key for effective restoration of power infrastructures after natural disasters such as cyclones and recent Titli cyclone provide a valuable lesson in that regard.
The meeting, which became a preparative meeting for cyclone Gaja, discussed what needs to be done at the ground-level since the exact course of the cyclone could be found out with the latest technology. “With what we have learnt during the restoration works in Srikakulam post-Titli cyclone, we should be prepared to bring back the power network in affected areas online in a short time,” Rao emphasised.
Stating that devastation due to Titli on power sector was more than what it was during Hudhud, he observed that it was due to the topographic variation of the two regions. The minister was all praise for power sector employees from linemen to the CMD, who have strived to restore normalcy in a short period.
He asked the officials to document the entire devastation and restoration work for future reference and at the same time asked them to prepare manuals for standard operating procedures during such disasters. Ponting out at the delay in ascertaining the exact extent of damage to electricity towers and poles during Titli, he wanted the officials to take steps to prevent such lapses by having the necessary data on hand.
Suggestions made for better preparedness
Poll drilling machines at the sub-divisional level in all nine coastal districts with a long-term maintenance contract
GIS digital maps of power network in the district, with clear demarcation of where sub-stations, different levels of power poles and towers, power lanes.
300 -500 electricity poles to be kept on standby at sub-divisional levels
Emergency power sources, such as generators, solar lanterns should be kept on standby