MoD puts defence installations on high alert
By Hemant Kumar Rout | Published: 12th October 2013 09:58 AM |
Apart from extending its support for rescue and relief operations to be required once the severe cyclonic storm Phailin hits Odisha and Andhra Pradesh by Saturday evening, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has taken all possible measures to protect its major defence installations from the possible impact in both the states.
As precautionary measures, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO evacuated most its working people, including scientists, technical staffs and civilian employees from Wheeler Island test facility off the Bhadrak coast.
At the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur here, barring a few communication systems, all major equipment have been shut down to keep them safe from electrical hazards. Employees and security personnel have been alerted to tackle any eventualities.
ITR Director MVKV Prasad said all work forces, except security personnel and system maintenance engineers, had been called back from the Wheeler Island till the situation improves. "Though all activities have been stopped, basic communication and power supply will be maintained there all along. In case Nesco stops supplying power, we can manage to run communication equipment for at least 4 days," he said.
Odisha houses defence institutions like Integrated Test Range (ITR), Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE), Military Engineering Service (MES), all at Chandipur in Balasore district, a naval centre at Chilika and the army and air defence college at Gopalpur in Ganjam district.
Prasad said all the defence institutions had been put on high alert. "In the ITR, all major equipment have been shut down. Tracking equipment have been moved to safer places. However, basic communication systems are on so that we can keep communicating with the Island from the main land," he informed.
Balasore Collector Parameswaran B on Friday discussed with the ITR Director over the weather predictions as the local defence unit here has its own independent weather station. Disaster management teams of the DRDO also have been asked to remain alert to protect the defence installations.
Meanwhile, with the rain accompanying with high speed wind lashing the region since Saturday morning, evacuation of people from the sea-side villages in the coastal district has been started. So far, around 2,000 people from five blocks of the district have been shifted to cyclone shelters.